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Memphis family’s Coast visit ends in rescue mission

A Mississippi Department of Marine Resources boat rescues two people stranded in the Mississippi Sound after their Jet Ski began to sink Sunday evening.
A Mississippi Department of Marine Resources boat rescues two people stranded in the Mississippi Sound after their Jet Ski began to sink Sunday evening. wmuller@sunherald.com

A family from Memphis had a frightening experience while visiting the Coast on Sunday when a 13-year-old boy and another relative became stranded in the Mississippi Sound after their Jet Ski sank.

Dozens of Gulfport police officers, firefighters and EMT units were on the scene just west of Island View Casino, waiting and watching as emergency boats from the fire department and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources raced over to the stranded jet skiers, who were several hundred yards from shore.

Roberto Ferie of Memphis said he and relatives were enjoying a day at the beach in Gulfport when he noticed his 13-year-old nephew and a 20-year-old family friend were having some kind of problem with the Jet Ski they were riding.

The Jet Ski ran out of gas and began taking on water, causing the two riders to hop overboard and cling to the craft until help arrived. Ferie noticed a nearby stranger with a kayak. He quickly commandeered the kayak and paddled as fast as he could to their location.

Once Ferie got there, he was able to tow the jet ski and his young relatives to shallower water, where they waited until the rescue boats arrived.

“It had us all very scared,” he said. “But luckily everyone was OK.”

Gulfport Fire Chief Chris Henderson said no one was injured in the incident.

Wesley Muller: 228-896-2322, @WesleySMuller

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