Society

Toddler Found Floating Alive Beneath Capsized Boat (Photos)

| by Michael Howard
Fire fighters help rescue family when boat capsizesFire fighters help rescue family when boat capsizes

A 23-month-old girl who disappeared after a boating accident in a Florida river was found floating safely underneath the capsized boat, with a small air pocket providing enough oxygen for her to breathe.

Tammy Bossard, her husband and their two children were thrown into the water around 10:30 p.m. on the night of Aug. 19 as they were coming back from dinner, according to WKMG.

"God was with us," Bossard told the news station. "Our boat hit the corner of the power lines and we all ejected."

The Bossards never lost sight of their younger daughter, Charlotte, but they became frantic when they realized that their 23-month-old toddler, Kennedy, was missing.

"I had Charlotte in my hands still and the boat had flipped and I climbed on top of the boat," Bossard said.

She could hear Kennedy crying but couldn't find her.

"I jumped in the water and we tried to search," she said. "We couldn't tell where the crying was coming from. We kept searching and searching."

Bossard was able to find her cell phone, which she used to call 911.

"I'm in the river," she told the dispatcher, according to The Huffington Post. "My boat crashed and I have a baby still in the water. Please God, send someone now."

When officers Matt Rush and Alan Worthy arrived on the scene, they pulled the Bossards and their daughter out of the water before jumping in and beginning a search for Kennedy.

Over 30 minutes passed before they discovered that the toddler was trapped underneath the capsized boat, and after several failed attempts, Rush managed to rescue her. She was reportedly uninjured.

"Usually instances like this don't turn out like that," Rush told WKMG. "A boating accident that severe, with that much damage, could've been a lot worse. The air pocket in the boat and the life jacket saved her life."

Worthy said he was personally affected by the experience, particularly when he saw Kennedy pulled from the water.

"That to me was a great feeling, just seeing her come out like that," he said. "It hit me a little bit because I have a 2-year-old myself."

Bossard expressed gratitude for the officers' efforts:

"Thank you for saving my baby and saving our world. I just can't imagine."

The accident is being investigated by the Florida Wildlife Commission.

Sources: The Huffington PostWKMG / Photo Credit: Cocoa Police Department via The Huffington Post

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