Three boaters were rescued in Volusia County after spending the night stranded.
Deputies said Mark Hutchinson, Georgia Hunt and George Edwards took a 20-foot pontoon boat from River Breeze Park in Oak Hill to JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach. While on their way back, they got lost.
We spoke with Hutchinson after he returned home. He said the three were, "sore, tired, mostly exhausted, but other than that we're doing good." He added that stormy weather made it tough to get around. "The problem was, I didn't know (the charts) as well as I should have. I missed a couple of turns, and the next thing you know, we're aground, and we couldn't get out."
The 51-year-old boater said the three of them spent the night on the boat. "It wasn't that bad. I mean, we've spent the night out there several times."
When morning arrived, they said they tried finding their way out of Mosquito Lagoon but ran into another problem. "Ran out of gas and burned out a couple of batteries, but made the call, and here we are," he said.
Hutchinson was able to make a call on his cell, giving rescuers a way to locate him before the battery died. "Thank God for cell phones!"
Once crews arrived, the three waded out to a rescue boat because their own vessel had drifted into a shallow area. "We're ok."
Officers said no one was injured. They recommend boaters carry a personal locater beacon or radio with GPS, so they can be located during an emergency.