Missing Boater Found Safe

Gulf County Search and Rescue teams were kept busy this weekend looking for a missing boater.

Their search efforts lasting over 16 hours finally paid off.

Officials say 45-year-old Art Thomas of Slocumb, Alabama disappeared Saturday night in the Apalachicola River near Wewahitchka.

Gulf County rescue crews and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began an all night search at 9 p.m. Saturday night, which continued into midday Sunday.

A Fish and Wildlife helicopter found Thomas around 1:30 Sunday afternoon just north of Wewahitchka.

His boat had become suck between two trees, an area where officials say he shouldn’t have been with the high floodwaters seven feet above flood stage. Experts say it’s advisable to find somewhere else to fish until the floodwaters recede.

Thomas was reunited with his family and they headed back to south Alabama.