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Wakulla County School Resource Officer saves father and son after boat capsized near St. Marks Lighthouse

Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 10, 2024
  • The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office said a school resource officer saved a man and a boy after their boat capsized on Saturday.
  • It happened about 300 yards from the St. Marks Lighthouse.
  • Read the news release below to see how the boat overturned.


On Saturday, June 8, 2024, a School Resource Officer (SRO) of the Safe Schools Division at the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office rescued an adult male and his young son after their Gheenoe capsized.

During the summer months when schools are closed, Deputy Sheriffs who work as SROs during the school year work locales frequented by juveniles such as wooded areas, parks, beaches and waterways. One of the SROs is a boat handler and was working the waterways by vessel on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

On June 8, 2024, a man and his young son were fishing approximately 300 yards from the St. Marks lighthouse in their Gheenoe when another boater went by and sank them with their wake.

St. Marks Lighthouse

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office subsequently received a call regarding a boat in distress, occupied by two persons, one of which was a minor. While the SRO was responding, it was learned that the boat was a 12-foot Gheenoe, had capsized, and both occupants were in the water.

Upon the SROs arrival, both were treading water and had gained assistance from a kayaker. The minor was wearing a life jacket and had been treading water for approximately 20 minutes. The Gheenoe was capsized and being held in place by an anchor, with all of their belongings and equipment floating off.

The SRO got both into the Sheriff’s Office vessel and another boater assisted in retrieving their personal belongings which were floating away. When FWC arrived, they were able to get the Gheenoe and both boaters to the lighthouse boat ramp.