Missing girl, father found safe in Brevard after boat capsizes

Pair spends 12 hours in Indian River before walking to safety

TITUSVILLE, Fla. - A missing 10-year-old girl and her 53-year-old father were found safe early Friday in Brevard County after their boat capsized during a fishing trip on the Indian River.

The pair was discovered around 5:30 a.m. walking along the NASA Causeway after spending 12 hours in the water following the boating mishap, officials said.

The father, Wallace Schroder, said he eventually swam to shallow water and his daughter used a life jacket before they walked 5 miles and flagged down a passerby.

"It was just a good citizen who saw me flag him down and stopped and let me use his cellphone.  A very good man," Schroder said.

Schroder said he was tired but grateful to God and all the agencies who were searching for him and his daughter. 

"I want to thank everybody for their efforts, I mean, it means a lot. The sheriff's office, Coast Guard, FWC, NASA security," he said.

The girl was taken to a hospital to be treated for dehydration.

"My daughter is doing fine," Schroder said, adding that he is "going to try to be more careful in the future."

The duo had left for their trip from Parrish Park in Titusville around 1:30 p.m. Thursday and were reported missing about 6 hours later.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking into why Schroder's boat capsized, but officials said seas were rough on Thursday.

The Coast Guard and other law enforcement officials conducted a search late Thursday before the man and girl were found safe.

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