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Family of 4 rescued after boat crashes, overturns in Cocoa

2 adults, 2 children listed in stable condition, officials say

COCOA, Fla. – Two adults and two young children were taken to a hospital after their boat crashed and overturned Friday night in Cocoa, authorities said.

The accident happened in the Indian River near the Hubert Humphrey Bridge.

Cocoa police and another boater helped in the rescue efforts before 11 p.m.

Tammy Brossard can't help but get emotional when she thinks about the traumatic ordeal her family went through Friday night.

"God was with us," she said. "Our boat hit the corner of the power lines and we all ejected."

They were coming back from dinner when their boat crashed into a wire supporting a telephone pole.

Bossard said she, her husband and her two children -- an infant named Charlotte and a 23-month-old toddler named Kennedy -- were thrown into the water. The mother told News 6 she frantically searched for her babies.

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

But Bossard said she couldn't find Kennedy and she could only hear the toddler crying.

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

Dorothy Dixon was boating nearby when she saw the accident.

"We grabbed them and momma kept swimming and looking," Dixon said. "The mom and dad did everything they could. They were looking under the boat."

Brossard was able to salvage her water-soaked cellphone and call 9-1-1. She begged the dispatcher for help after realizing her toddler was still missing.

Officer Matt Rush and Cpl. Alan Worthy were among the first to arrive on scene. They immediately pulled the parents and baby to safety, and then started looking for the toddler.

They could hear her crying, but didn't know where it was coming from. The chopper overhead couldn't spot her either. That's when they realized she was trapped under the boat, so they both jumped in the water and took turns trying to grab her.

It was extremely challenging, the water was cold and dark, and they didn't have life jackets or oxygen tanks. After about 45 minutes of searching, Rush finally reached her. She was scared, but in good condition.

"Officer Rush and Worthy pulled the child out from under the boat and got her to paramedics for treatment," according to the Cocoa Police Department.

"Usually, instances like this don't turn out like that," Rush said. "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."

[VIDEO: Officers speak after saving infant]

Worthy said relief rushed over him when the toddler emerged form the water.

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

The family was reunited back on shore, and Brossard said she's forever grateful to those officers.

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

The Florida Wildlife Commission, or FWC, is handling the crash investigation, officials said.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Coast Guard and FWC assisted with the rescue.


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