Three Gulfport Boaters Rescued From Sound - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Three Gulfport Boaters Rescued From Sound

"We watched a small bass boat become swamped by the waves when its motor wouldn't start," said Sandy Leydorf. "There were three men that ended up in the water, without life preservers, so I called 9-1-1. The call went to Wisconsin. I asked for Gulfport, Mississippi, and they connected me to 9-1-1 here, two rings."

Wisconsin vacationers Sandy Leydorf and her husband weren't the only ones nearby when three men were forced off their fishing boat.

"We normally fish in the Back Bay, but I had gotten word that the fish were biting. We were just determined to catch some fish today," Christopher Williams said.

Gulfport residents Christopher Williams and Keith Anderson took a rare day off to go fishing.

"We were just starting to get some fish biting and everything, and we heard those guys scream, and well, holler, trying to get our attention. We looked over, and he said it looked like they may have taken on some water," Williams said.

Waves crashed over the stern of the boat, forcing Edward Rawls, Joseph Rawls and Cenica Barnes into the cold water. Williams and Anderson rushed over to help, tossing out life jackets and pulling two of the three men onto their boat.

"I was trying to keep everybody calm, make sure everybody had a level head. And you know, we did the best we could to try to pull them in the boat, but one guy was like 300 pounds, so I just grabbed a boat paddle and just tried to keep him afloat, and just make sure everybody got home safe," Keith Anderson said.

The Coast Guard soon arrived and pulled the third man to safety. Thanks to help from the Coast Guard, Christopher Williams and Keith Anderson, all three men were able to return home safely to their families.

"If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't," Edward Rawls said.

No one was injured. Williams and Anderson continued fishing after making sure all three men were safe on land.

By Toni Miles

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