A tearful Florida mother thanked rescuers for saving her toddler, who survived a boat capsize in an unlikely air pocket beneath the boat and with her life jacket still in place.
Tammy and Brian Bossard were grateful to have their toddler daughter Kennedy home today after the 23-month-old was trapped under the family’s boat for more than an hour after it hit power lines Friday night and flipped over on Florida’s Indian River.
The family of four was returning from dinner when their boat apparently struck power lines, causing the vessel to flip over and send the passengers, including two young children, plunging into the darkened waters of the Indian River in Brevard County, CNN reported.
Authorities responded quickly, and rescuers located the two adults and one of the children from the capsized boat. The relief was short-lived as Tammy Bossard realized that Kennedy was still missing.
Bossard said she heard the girl’s anxious cries, but she was nowhere to be found. "We heard crying and we couldn't find her," Bossard told the network. "I jumped in the water and tried to search, but couldn't hear where the crying was coming from."
The family looked on in anguish as officers spent nearly an hour in the water looking for the toddler, according to Cocoa police.
She was still wearing the life jacket her parents placed on her when they set out on their trip. Bossard's eyes filled with tears of gratitude as she thanked the rescuers for "saving our baby and saving our world."
“We thought we were going to lose her,” an emotional Tammy Bossard told ABC News this morning.
The Bossards say it’s "a miracle" that their daughter survived the crash. The Bossards were able to escape with their 7-month-old daughter, Charlotte, but couldn’t find Kennedy. They could only hear her crying in the darkness, but it sounded as if the cries were “coming from everywhere,” Brian Bossard said.
First responders rushed to the scene and began to search, but after nearly 45 minutes they began to lose hope.
“We were just getting ready to leave, and that's when we heard a very light cry,” Cpl. Alan Worthy of the Cocoa Police Department told the network. “I put my ear up to the side of the boat and I was listening, and I could hear that she was right there.”
Police say the toddler's life vest saved her life.