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2 drown on 4th of July Holiday in Wakulla County

Wakulla County community speaks out about tragic drownings over 4th of July holiday
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-05 19:17:25-04

ST. MARKS, Fla. (WTXL) — Whether for fishing, boating, or fellowship Shell Island fish camp is the go-to for the Wakulla County community.

"It's always a tight knit community down here. Most everybody gets along; we look after each other," said George Gordy, Wakulla County resident.

Though this place experienced a tragedy Tuesday night. According to the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office two separate drownings happened in the community. One in a Crawdfordville neighborhood the other on the water near St. Marks.

Deputies say so far in the investigation both instances appear to be nothing more than tragic accidents.

"I was here when the boat came in full speed," said Gordy.

George Gordy has been fishing here for the past 36 years. He says on that night everyone pulled together to help.

"There was a multitude of sheriff's, Florida Marine Patrol, everybody was here, ambulances, firetrucks all of that," said Gordy.

Gordy says he lost his best friend to a boating accident. He doesn't wish that feeling on anyone.

Deputies aren't releasing much information on the nature of the drownings but boat captain, Stacey Horak, she says that education is the key.

"There needs to be more education…I believe people need hands on and they need to know what to do in a bad situation," said Horak.

Stacy Horak has been a captain for 6 years. She says she hopes the message everyone takes away from all of this is boat safety.

"Safety, safety, safety!"