USCG, life guards rescue girls 2 miles offshore

Two young girls from Ohio on vacation in Gulf Shores had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and Gulf Shores Life Guards after they drifted some two miles off shore in a raft.

Halle Burns and Mariah Fiorini of Ohio launched an inflatable raft into the Gulf near their beach house on the 2400 Block of West Beach Boulevard.

Witnesses said it didn’t take long before the wind carried the two girls more than a mile off shore.

The girls told FOX10 News once they realized how far out they were, they were scared.

“We started freaking out, I tried to push the boat and it wasn’t working and we kept going in circles,” recalled Burns, “Then we heard the motor of a jet ski, so they came and got us, but then it tipped, so we fell in the water and on the way to shore we were really cold so the Coast Guard came and got us and we went to their dock.”

Luckily for Burns and Fiorini, another family vacationing in the area was keeping a close eye on them.

Elizabeth Miller said she saw the whole thing.

“Just thought we’d keep an eye on them because we didn’t see any parents outside,” said Miller, “It happened so fast. Next thing we knew they were past the second sand bar and we ran over and got their parents.”

Another witness recalled how strong the wind felt at the time of the incident.

“The wind just kept taking them and taking them out,” said Trey Pitts, “The wind was pretty rough.”

At the end of the day, the girls say they’ve learned a good lesson about safety.

“I mean, it’s a really cool experience to be far out in the ocean, but (you should) always be prepared, have enough safety, have adult supervision,” Burns and Fiorini said.

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