Two women riding a jet ski on spring break in Port Canaveral, Florida, found themselves in a scary life-and-death situation Saturday after flipping their personal watercraft in front of an oncoming Carnival cruise ship.
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deputy Tanner Primmer was in a race against time to rescue the jet skiers in his patrol boat as passengers on the cruise ship watched in horror:
“Oh my God, oh my God no,” one passenger can be heard saying as the ship’s shadow got closer to the patrol boat indicating a collision was imminent. “Get in, get in!”
Passenger Anthony Miglioranzi caught the rescue on video:
Allison Garrett, 20, and Skylar Penpasuglia, 19, were riding the jet ski when one of them fell off. As she attempted to re-board, the jet ski flipped upside down, as reported by the Bradenton Herald.
According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, “as the two frantically tried to right the jet ski, the wind pushed them into the Port channel, directly into the path of the outgoing cruise ship.”
However, a man in the video indicated the jet skiers had overturned their watercraft in the path of the cruise ship, and a report from Canaveral Pilots indicated they were operating within the navigation channel.
Capt. Doug Brown was at the helm of the Carnival Magic, saw the jet skiers in the channel and alerted Primmer, who was on duty in the harbor in a Sheriff’s Marine Unit patrol boat.
Brown veered the cruise ship away from the jet skiers, giving Primmer just enough time to get both jet skiers into his boat and to back the boat away from the potential disaster.
“I could not be more proud of the actions of Deputy Tanner Primmer, a member of our SeaPort Security Marine Unit who placed his life in peril without hesitation to rescue the Port visitors,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey wrote on Facebook.
The fortunate jet skiers couldn’t have been more thankful. Both commented on the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:
“This is Allison Garrett, the first one who got pulled up onto the boat. I just wanted to take a minute to thank Deputy Tanner Primmer for rescuing me and my best friend yesterday. We were extremely lucky to have him there to help us.”
“This is Skylar Pentasuglia, the second one to be pulled up on the boat by Deputy Tanner Primmer. I’d just like to tell him thank you again for helping us in that terrible situation. He was truly a hero yesterday.”