Four rescued from Mississippi Sound in two mishaps

BILOXI -- Four people were rescued from the Mississippi Sound in two mishaps Saturday afternoon, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reported.

According to the release, the DMR Office of Marine Patrol received a call about 3:30 p.m. that a Catamaran turned over south of Fort Maurepas near Front Beach in Ocean Springs.

Two 15-year-olds on the boat tried to right it but became fatigued. Officers responded in less than 10 minutes and were able to bring them to shore. Both were wearing life jackets.

Marine Patrol brought the father of one of the teenagers, who was watching from shore, to the vessel and he sailed it into Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi, the release said.

Before officers finished with this incident, Marine Patrol received a distress call that three kayakers had flipped over in Long Beach south of Arbor Station Apartments. When they arrived on the scene at 4:25 p.m., one of the kayakers, James Marion, 37, had made it to shore to call 911.

Deanna S. Purvis-Leasure, 43, was treading water because her kayak had sunk. Michael Evans, 37, was clinging to a kayak. Neither were wearing life jackets, according to the release.

Purvis-Leasure was found more than one mile from the beach. Evans was found three miles from the beach. Both told Marine Patrol officers that they weren't sure how much longer they could have survived.

American Medical Response met officers and the kayakers at the Pass Christian Harbor, and both were treated for mild hypothermia.

Marine Patrol Chief Keith Davis said it is important for people using small craft to be aware of weather conditions.

"We saved these people, but we want to warn everyone to use caution when there are warnings issued," he said in the press release. "Even though the beaches may seem calm, the water can be rough. We also want to remind everyone of the importance of wearing life jackets whenever they are on the water."

The National Weather Service had issued a small craft advisory for Saturday, which remains in effect through Sunday night.