CALADESI ISLAND, Fla. — The owner of Caladesi Ferry apologized Monday after a mother, son and two other families called 911 when their scheduled ferry never showed up and left them stranded.
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The incident happened Saturday when the visitors to Caladesi Island said the 5:15 p.m. ferry didn't pick them up.
Sonja Scott, who was visiting from Georgia along with her son, said they tried to call State Parks for help but got no answer. A rescue crew from the Dunedin Fire Department eventually brought them back to land.
“We're very concerned about what happened. This never has happened before. We have had the contract with the state for 30 years," said ferry owner Janet Henderson.
Henderson said 81 tickets were sold Saturday and that at 4:30 p.m., 81 people had been brought off the island. So the ferry did not go back for the 5:15 p.m. pick-up.
“Sometimes there is a group who decide to walk to Clearwater Beach and not take ferry back or vice versa. That would affect that count," Henderson said. "That may be what happened Saturday."
Henderson said even though the tickets were accounted for, the ferry should have gone back for the 5:15 p.m. appointment.
"We have sent the customers a ticket for a free ride and the park has offered a free entrance to apologize," Henderson said.
Despite the wait, Scott and her son said it was still a fun day, exploring a beautiful place.
"It's still America’s best state park, even though we were stranded," Scott said.