Historic City News received word this evening that a 12-year-old Palm Coast boy got an unexpected ride in a helicopter tonight after he wandered away from his family and got lost in Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park in Flagler County.
Barak Ordonez got separated from his mother, Shanna Ordonez, and her boyfriend, Raymond Surdam, around 4:50 p.m. when he and two of his siblings attempted to run ahead as the family was hiking some trails around the plantation. Barak took a wrong path that led him into swampy, marsh land.
Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and the Flagler Beach Fire Department launched a ground search while Flagler County’s Fireflight and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office’s Air One took to the air. As the sun began to set, the search intensified. Flagler County Emergency Services initiated a Code Red reverse call message to homes in the area to notify residents of the missing child.
About 6 p.m., rescuers located the youngster about 15 miles into the marsh, but they were unable to reach him by foot due to the water, brush and marsh muck. A plan was mapped out to airlift him out. Flagler County Sheriff Deputy, Cpl. Jamie Roster, waded into the marsh where he recovered the boy and stayed with him while Fireflight prepared for the rescue. Around 8 p.m., Barak was lifted into the hovering helicopter by Cpl. Roster and flown to the Flagler County Airport where he was reunited with his family. Cpl. Roster waded out from the marsh into an area where he was picked up by firefighters on an ATV aided by air support from Air One.
“This was a well coordinated effort of all the agencies involved. I applaud the professionalism and cooperation between the agencies that brought this incident to a happy resolution,” said Flagler County Sheriff Donald W. Fleming.