A 23-month-old girl was found alive after getting trapped inside an air pocket under a capsized boat. The accident occurred near the Hubert Humphrey Bridge in the Indian River around 10:45 p.m. Friday, August 19.
The girl, named Kennedy, her parents, Tammy and Brian Bossard, and her 7-month-old sister, Charlotte, were headed home from dinner at a Cocoa Beach restaurant when the father struck a support wire for a power pole.
“There’s no lights,” he says. “No reflectors on them. Our radar just didn’t pick them up.”
It was too late to take any preventative measures by the time he saw the wire, which the boat ran up and flipped over.
He surfaced to discover the overturned boat and his wife, who was holding their daughter Charlotte – Kennedy was nowhere to be found.
They could hear Kennedy crying for help, but they had no idea where she was. After realizing his wet phone worked, they called 911.
A good samaritan in a separate boat jumped in the water to help before police arrived. When officers arrived, they helped pull the two adults and hold to safety.
Police had no idea where Kennedy was – they had numerous people searching and a helicopter, but no Kennedy.
Mike Dellatorre, the Cocoa Police Departments boat operator arrived to the scene along with Cpl. Alan Worthy, and after searching, he came to the conclusion that Kennedy was still under the boat. It wasn’t until he thought he heard a child crying that he didn’t think this would be a worst case scenario.
“I immediately tell the helicopter to lift off,” says Dellatorre.
He then silenced all radios and told people to be quiet as he put his ear to the hull – he heard her crying.
“She’s under the boat,” he yelled.
When they discovered Kennedy, they saw she had been kept afloat thanks to a life jacket.
“She was alert. She was conscious. She was looking around,” said Worthy.
Kennedy was quickly brought on board and given a quick check-up and she appeared unhurt except for a minor cut above her eye.
The officers involved say they were just doing their jobs, but Kennedy’s parents feel they’re true heroes.
“These girls are our world,” Brian says emotionally, “and, you know, without one of them, we just didn’t know what we would do.”