Cpl. Stender Rescues Struggling Swimmers Caught in Strong Outgoing Tide

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies are sworn to protect and serve within all 858 sq miles of Charlotte County, to include the 178 sq miles of water. Our county, although small town feel, covers a vast area from Babcock Ranch to Englewood Beach.

Cpl. Stender

Cpl. Brad Stender was in the right place at the right time when four boaters were in dire need of assistance in Gasparilla Pass. The group had been enjoying the sandbar when a young new father, J. Mathews, was pulled out toward the Gulf by the strong outgoing tide. He quickly became exhausted, and had ingested a substantial amount of salt water. E. Herzberg and his father, Michael both jumped into action, attempting to rescue Mathews but were both overpowered by the current. The operator of the boat attempted to maneuver the vessel into a position attempting to deploy personal flotation devices but found he could not contend with the strong winds and rough waters.

Corporal Stenders outstanding and swift actions reflect the training of our Deputies. Corporal Stender embraces the mission of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, which is the preservation of life and safety of all citizens and visitors of our county.

Sheriff Bill Prummell

Cpl. Stender observed the struggle from a significant distance to the south. He was not only able to quickly maneuver his patrol vessel into position to rescue all three victims, but he was able to simultaneously ward off an approaching yacht preventing any further danger. Cpl. Stender was able to get all victims on board utilizing the dive door, quickly assessed that medical attention was needed and transported them to Gasparilla Marina to be evaluated by Charlotte County Fire/EMS.

It was the right place, at the right time, and I’m thankful that it worked out the way it did.  He wanted to make it home to his family and new baby. As a father myself, it hits home.

Cpl. Brad Stender

“Hi Sheriff, my name is Jon Mathews. Thank you for saving my life man I can’t thank you enough , after that day I’ve learned to respect the water a little more , your a super hero man the way you appeared out of no where was godly , I couldn’t imagine leaving my son here alone thank you so much,” states Jon Mathews

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  1. This Officer is one of the best god bless him and Charlotte County great job your always ready to serve you make the Sheriffs office great!

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