Jeff Skrzypek –
Mason Matthews and his scuba dive buddy Nick Allen were missing at sea, miles away from shore, but safe Sunday night thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
The two divers were reported missing at around 4:18 p.m. on Saturday, and nearly four hours later, the call came in everyone was hoping to hear.
Rescue crews and family swarmed the U.S. Coast Guard station in Fort Pierce and when the rescued divers got off the boat, their families erupted into cheers and laughter.
It was a moment that might not have been possible without the work of those standing behind.
“It is like a needle in a haystack trying to find someone in a black diver suit out there in the waves bobbing up and down,” said Brandon Marbrey, of the U.S. Coast Guard.
When rescuers were out searching the waters of South Hutchinson Island, crews said the current was very strong and they were losing vital daylight.
But with the help of a St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy and a pair of night goggles, crews spotted Matthews and Allen still miles away from shore.
“I was excited, everyone was thrilled. I just couldn’t hold it back. I was like, ‘Hey guys get on the boat,'” said Marbrey.