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Deputies rescue 2 from St. Johns River

Clay County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Twisdale and Deputy Tim Frazho bring to the Shands Pier Zach Paul, Andrew Huxford and Mitch Moody. Photo courtesy of the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Clay County Sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Twisdale and Deputy Tim Frazho bring to the Shands Pier Zach Paul, Andrew Huxford and Mitch Moody. Photo courtesy of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.


BY DAN HILDEBRAN

Monitor Editor

Clay County deputies rescued two men from the St. Johns River and picked up a third victim after the man swam to shore.

According to sheriff’s office Public Information Officer Mary Justino, the three St. Augustine men launched from St. Johns County during the morning of Dec. 18.

Zach Paul, 27, Andrew Huxford, 20, and Mitch Moody, 24, crossed the river to an area offshore from the Bayard Conservation Area to hunt ducks.

After the vessel started taking on water, Paul swam to shore and encountered a hiker in the preserve who called 911.

The two officers, Sgt. Eric Twisdale and Deputy Tim Frazho had just launched a sheriff’s office pontoon boat at nearby Knights Boat Ramp to test a newly-installed engine.

According to Justino, the hiker, Dave Beatson of Jacksonville, stayed on the phone for 30 minutes with dispatchers, directing the officers to the two men in the water.

All three victims were in good condition and were evaluated by Clay County Fire Rescue. Deputies towed the boat to Shands Pier.

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