SAVANNAH Five missing boaters stranded on the eastern side of St. Catherine's Island were rescued early Monday by a Coast Guard helicopter crew.
"We were really glad we found everybody and could get them safely back with their families," said Lt. Matthew Walker, pilot of the helicopter.
John Hatfield, Brett Poythress, Norman Casteel, Russell Black and Nicole Anderson left from the Demetries Creek Boat Ramp Sunday for a day trip. When the group of five didn't return, Hatfield's father called the Coast Guard station at Tybee Island at 10:35 p.m.
The five had beached their vessel on the Atlantic side of the island to safely ride out a passing squall. The tide flooded the vessel and pushed it too far up on the beach to push back into the water.
The rescue crew spotted the group signaling their aircraft with lighters, using night vision. The helicopter crew hoisted the five people safely and took them back to Savannah.