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Hillsborough County sheriff helps rescue family aboard sinking boat

No one was hurt in the ordeal.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister often compliments his deputies for their hard work but this weekend, the sheriff himself played a big role in a marine rescue near the Davis Islands Yacht Club.

Chronister and members of his marine unit happened to be on patrol during the big airshow at MacDill Air Force Base on Sunday afternoon when they got a distress call about a vessel taking on water.

Eleven people were aboard, including several children.

The sheriff not only assisted in the rescue, but comforted family members who said they could not be more grateful.

“Oh, I appreciate it. You guys work so quickly, you were so fast. And so professional. And I appreciate it,” said Martha Monte, one of the rescued boaters. “That’s what our country needs. Thank you, thank you so much.”

The boat was towed back to shore. Thankfully, no one on board was hurt.  

“There was no hesitancy on behalf of the brave men and women of the HCSO Marine Unit, and other agencies, in working together to bring this family back to shore,” Chronister said in a statement. “As traumatic and scary as this ordeal was for the adults, and especially the children, we're glad they were able to count on the kindness of our deputies to calm their nerves, and even get some smiles at the end from a very grateful family."

A handful of other agencies also participated in Sunday’s rescue, including the Tampa Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and Tampa Fire Rescue.

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