Perdido River Tubers Found Safe After Lengthy Search

May 4, 2020

First responders located two lost tubers after a lengthy search on the Perdido River Sunday night.

Just after 8 p.m. Sunday, Escambia Fire Rescue and Escambia County EMS responded to a report of a person that was tubing and had become stuck on sandbar on the Perdido River near Vantage Road. The male eventually walked out of the woods on Vantage Road as firefighters searched.

Officials then learned that a female that had been part of the group on the river was still missing. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission joined the search, along with Alabama agencies including the Gateswood Volunteer Fire Department. They concentrated their search in the area between Fillingim Landing and the Barrineau Park Bridge.

The female was located safe by FWC about 11:45 p.m. at the Otto Hill Recreation Area off Jacks Branch Road, about a half mile south of Fillingim Landing. She was evaluated by Escambia County EMS but not transported to the hospital. file photos, click to enlarge.


14 Responses to “Perdido River Tubers Found Safe After Lengthy Search”

  1. Kirby on May 7th, 2020 5:44 am

    Thank goodness that these “tubers” were found safe! Sorry but this sounds like a lead in to a “Larry the Cable Guy” joke… I couldn’t help but chuckle every time I read “tuber” and was thinking about taters lol!

  2. Tabby on May 6th, 2020 4:18 pm

    @BP___ Where are you located. Just give me a small detail about your property because I know the river well. My father built a couple of the older homes there. So your north of Doug. Are you north of Johnny ? Asking because I’ll bring you two bags of river trash each day. Between Dave, now this new guy, and Alabama now, there’s more folks than a little bit. It’s weird you don’t believe it. Even those new cabins don’t have a place for trash. And it’s gonna get worse. By your initials im guessing your on Fishhook and don’t have a sandbar. Most folks that do act like it’s theirs and complain about others on it. You aren’t doing that. I agree with the rest though. Sometimes I get the urge to go to Fillingims and crack a beer or something so I can fight the ticket. State property doesn’t begin until the high water mark, same as the aforementioned individual owners.

  3. Tabby on May 6th, 2020 6:15 am

    @BP__Really. So two bags of trash a day is unbelievable? Which place is yours, I’ll bring it to you. Go ask Doug, Johnny, or anyone else how much garbage is picked up. Furthermore, I probably know you however, everyone I know that lives on the creek isn’t out on it daily.
    Do agree with rental folks. Used to rarely see anyone on the creek. Now this Johnny come lately thinks he knows everything about it and he uses state property to run his business. He should own a watercraft but he knows nothing of the creek he claims to know all about. Tired of all the jetskis also.
    I just wish I could post pics here. Just one day between Otto and Fillingims we picked up about five lighters and seven pairs of sunglasses let alone trash. The worst is the diapers like the one lady said. But two guys tipped Sunday and about twelve cans and some other trash came out. It’s funny some folks think all the tubers and such are keeping their trash and not just throwing it out as they make it.

  4. BP on May 5th, 2020 1:32 pm

    Some of these comments I’m reading are unbelievable who are these people talking about picking up two bags of trash a day, give me a break. I live on the river between Filligam’s and the Pipes and I,m on the river probably more than anybody making these comments, I consider the river one of God’s great creations. People abusing this deserve to pay the price. Rental owners should be required to have a watercraft prepared or in the water and be ready to respond to the people they are making money off of. As a property owner on the river I am sick and tired of people knocking on my door at 9 or 10 o’clock at night. THINGS NEED TO CHANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. City girl on May 5th, 2020 6:54 am

    I was on this same river from 10 am – 7 pm .. left my car up by Styx bridge with my phone.. when I got back my family had called 911 because they were so scared something happened.. it was our first time going, had no idea how long it was!! Never saw any other groups .. had a blast but what a long trip, glad we had a local with us

  6. Duke of Wawbeek on May 5th, 2020 6:22 am

    The Rental owner should be required to give tubers an IQ and competency test, before letting them ride one of those deadly tubes.

    Most certainly the owner’s fault, for ineffective screening of applicants.

  7. Tabby on May 5th, 2020 6:19 am

    @Kathy Iannone___Its not what makes me think, it’s what I know Kathy. We’re out every weekend and several days during the week. Over the years we’ve seen some things. You have your opinion based on your limited time however, it is fact, since the new guy started renting and they created Fillingims, the trash started heavily.
    @William Coleman, A trash trip every year, please. We do a trash trip every weekend. Even during winter. I’m not speaking of Dave, did you read his name at all ? Thick people quick to jump in. I’m talking about the new rental guy.

  8. Miss NOLA on May 4th, 2020 6:03 pm

    Anyone who was not there does not know “exactly” what happened to even respond. The tubers were NOT told it was an 11 mile trip, just that is was 6 hours without any stops. They got into the water at 11am. All 4 seperated at over 6 hours and very few and short stops. 1 stayed on a sandbar for help, one continued to tube, and 2 went in separate ways on foot to find help. Mind you the temperature once the sun was setting dropped tremendously.

    There was no blame put on ANYONE, other than the owners of the tubing place. 2 cars were brought, they parked one at the start and one at the AL Bridge. On the way to the bridge, they got lost and called the tubing place (where they just paid and left keys to their vehicle). On that call, ofcourse before they knew who they were, the owners said they were not allowing tubing. They again stated it was a 6 hour trip. They don’t even own or operate a rescue boat.

    So again, before you judge anyone, know the entire story. Thanks to search and rescue, as well as, the friendly strangers that helped them to safety.

  9. William Coleman on May 4th, 2020 1:08 pm

    I have grew up on this river, and have been going to Mr. Dave’s since before I could remember. If you read their brochure, it tells you that the Day trip is 11 miles, which takes somewhere around 4 to 6 hours or longer depending on the frequency and durations of your stops. So it is partly the tubers fault for wanting to launch at such a late hour, further more they made it only 2 1/2 miles from their launch point. This was poor planning on the tubers behalf. Plus, on the trash situation, me and my family do a cleanup trip every year down that river. Even when Mr. Dave and everybody use to give out trash bags, you know what happened? We had to fish the trash bags, some of which was full of trash and water, out of log jams, off of the sand bars, and so on because people trash it. It is not Dave, Linda, or Raleigh’s fault that many grown adults do not pick up after themselves.

  10. Dunk on May 4th, 2020 11:38 am

    I would love to know how someone gets ’stuck’ on a sandbar. There’s a good story there. The woman probably just got separated by her group and missed the take out point. That can happen if she was the first one to get there. This is a good teaching moment. Someone go get the full story.

  11. Kathi Iannone on May 4th, 2020 11:07 am

    What makes you think that it is the Rentals fault at all! Some people are just irresponsible and disrespectful! We have lost so much use of that beautiful area because people do not pick up THEIR trash and cannot act responsibly . But you can’t imply that it is the fault for the Rentals or people coming from town. I was at that same river both days this weekend and we kayak often this as been an issue for years. I picked up a diaper, 2 bottles and other items just walking back to the bridge.

    We also found 4 dogs on the road headed back to 112. They were all same color probably the same litter older dogs not puppies. They were hungry and thirsty and lost! I guarantee you the rentals didn’t leave those dogs there. I stopped a man and he said people leave dogs out there all the time. I called the Bay Minette Animal Shelter who transferred me to the Sheriff’s department who told me unless the dogs are aggressive they can’t do anything.

    After all of the quarantine and COVID mess, we as a society need to take responsibility and be kind to one another!

  12. just sayin on May 4th, 2020 9:44 am

    So your tube gets stuck on a sand bar and now you are stranded. I have heard of boats running aground on a sand bar and become stuck until either the tide comes in or you are able to shove it off. But a person in a tube? This does not make any sense. Why not get out of the tube and move it to deeper water?

  13. River rat on May 4th, 2020 8:21 am

    That river can be disorienting to a newbee. Many twist and turns and switchbacks… especially north of the old H.H. boat ramp. City folk stay with others

  14. Tabby on May 4th, 2020 5:55 am

    Sad. We were trying to ride because we figured the crowd was done by 430. Nope. Just south of Otto Hill and we seen several groups coming corner after corner. All asking how much further to Dave’s at 530. Are you for real. Omg. IDK if the tubers and kayaks were rentals but if so, pretty irresponsible. Many come from town to do this as a novelty and we wind up collecting at least two bags of garbage per day on weekends. It should be incumbent upon rentals to issue garbage bags with each rental. Seen a group of campers and thanked them for keeping their garbage. Anyway, glad everyone is ok. Water is pretty cold.