News Stories

Water Rescue in Southwest Florida

In Thailand, 12 boys and their coach were finally rescued from a flooded cave after nearly three weeks. The rescue team included expert divers from the Navy Seals.

The international story led the HelloSWFL team to wonder about the water rescue teams in our area.

As a whole, Lee County has a Marine Emergency Response Team. MERT is made up of several fire departments that would respond to an emergency water rescue.

“Water rescue, particularly in this area, usually involves a boat response team, a fire boat which has the capabilities to put out the fire on the water,” said Khalid Aquil, Division Chief of Operations for Iona-McGregor Fire District.

The United States Coast Guard and the Lee County Sheriffs Department are also involved.

“We all have our boats strategically docked and based on GPS location the closest department in our area,” Chief Khalid explained.

“We have numerous fire districts that are dispatched to respond and they all head to the specific location. And there’s almost always more than one unit that is responding,” he said.