PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) – Good Samaritans sent a lifeline to a man and a child after they were thrown in the water in the Keys. A day of fun turned terrifying for the duo, but thankfully witnesses and officials sprang into action to help rescue them.
“I can’t get it out of my head,” said Keke.
She is talking about witnessing terrifying moments Saturday in the upper Keys.
“It was a Jet Ski pulling a water raft with people on it, a lot of people,” said Keke, “and the raft on it got caught in the current.”
Keke was fishing underneath the Long Key Bridge with her family as she watched in despair as another family, including a child, was thrown off their Jet Ski into the ripping current.
Video shows a man and child screaming for help and drifting away quickly into the current.
It occurred just before 5 p.m., near mile marker 64. The family fought with the current, but a passing boat stopped to help.
“They threw a rope to try and help them,” said Keke, “and they got stuck. The propeller got stuck with the rope, so now all three of them, the raft, the Jet Ski, and the boat was stuck in the current.”
As they tried to untangle the rope from the boat’s prop, the Jet Ski flipped and sent the man and child into the water.
“I ran up there, and I stopped traffic, both ways,” and, like I said, he was three cars behind,” said Keke.
Three cars behind was Florida Highway Patrol trooper Jay Fraioli.
“They seemed to be stable. He was holding on the the pier,” said Fraioli, “and he was in a pretty good position.”
Trooper Fraioli called for help as the two used the bridge piling as cover from the current. A few minutes later, first responders were able to use a rope to pull the two through the current and onto the shore.
“It was a day the universe had everyone in place,” said Keke.
“Timing was a huge factor in this,” said Fraioli. “Lucky timing for them, lucky timing for me, and the timing for Monroe County Rescue.”
The man and boy were both checked out by first responders and everyone is expected to be OK.
Troopers stress that what played a large role in the rescue was that both parties wore life jackets.
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