Teen takes the helm during Gulf rescue

The Blue Water Escape Charter boat Charles Garrett Stone and his father, Charles Samuel, are taking out to the Destin Pass sways back and forth in the choppy waves of the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s a muggy Thursday morning in early June, a brief rain shower has come and gone, and the father and son duo from Navarre is headed to the scene of a rescue they spearheaded more than a week ago.

The three dolphins jumping in the 1- to 2-foot waves as the sun peaks through the clouds is a sight to behold, but on June 7, the day Tropical Storm Colin churned up the waters of the Gulf, the scene was decidedly different.

Charles and his father were headed back to Fort Walton early that Tuesday afternoon when they came up to a boat with eight people on board that was taking on water quickly and being pulled out into the Gulf by the current.

Charles was asked to recall his thoughts about the moment he and his father encountered the emergency situation.

“I was worried about the whole situation, not only for them, but for us too, because the waves that day were rough. Everything that goes through the pass is magnified,” said the younger Charles, a 16-year-old Navarre High School student. “They were about five or six feet and rollers, and when they get into the pass, it turns into chop. It gets nasty.”

The boat had lost its engine power and it was only a matter of time before it was pulled into the Gulf and sunk, which meant Charles had to act quickly.

Read the full article in the June 23 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe online to your community newspaper.



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