Good Samaritans rescue family from burning boat at Coquina Beach

COQUINA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — A family was trapped on a boat that had burst into flames, and Good Samaritans came to their rescue.

Longboat Key police say around noon on Sunday, a family of four was on board a white Bayliner off the coast of Coquina Beach. The family then heard a loud pop from the engine compartment. The Bayliner then caught fire.

The family members were trapped.

Meanwhile, Heather Whitmer and her daughter, Mikaela, were on board a boat nearby and saw white smoke. “As we were going there, the smoke was getting thicker and blacker and then we saw the family on the bow of the boat,” Whitmer said.

“My dad, he pinned the hammer down and he’s like, ‘I think there’s a little kid on board,'” Mikaela said.

Those boaters were in danger, and the Whitmer family knew it. “It’s a gas line; it could blow. They were scared. They were very scared,” Heather Whitmer said.

“If it blew up, we would’ve been totally, like dead,” Mikaela added.

Time was of the essence. The Whitmers got the three adults and child to jump off and come aboard their small boat. As they pulled the family members to safety, flames destroyed the boat.

The Whitmers don’t see themselves as heroes. They were just doing the right thing.

“We were all blessed to be still alive,” Mikaela said.

“When you see somebody who needs help, you help them because one day you might need their help,” Heather Whitmer siad.

The family that was on the burning boat did not want to speak with the media. They did express their sincere gratitude to the Whitmers for rescuing them. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s