April 6, 2023

WALTON COUNTY, Fla— A Walton County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher using a new video streaming technology is credited with helping recover a stranded boater in the Choctawhatchee Bay Wednesday afternoon.

At around 12:30 pm on April 5th, Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a frantic 911 call from a woman whose husband had fallen overboard while on their boat in the Choctawhatchee Bay.

She told dispatchers she was drifting away from his location losing sight of him and she could not get the boat started.

Using the RapidDeploy mapping solution, Walton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Heather Mayo initiated a live 911 video stream and was able to help the caller get the boat started. With the enhanced 911 location feature of RapidDeploy, Mayo was able to help the caller retrace her route back to her husband and get him back on board.

“This technology is critical in situations where we need to see what the caller is seeing,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “The bay was choppy that afternoon and had we not been able to walk her through this situation, she may not have been able to retrieve her husband from the water.”

“Every second matters when it comes to saving lives. Streamlined access to life-saving data can make all the difference. Heather Mayo was calm in a chaotic situation and was able to guide the caller throughout the entire situation.”