After twelve hours floating helplessly in the gulf, a Homosassa women is finally home safe.
45-year-old Dora Steed went missing Thursday night while she and her husband were diving for scallops.
Rescue crews searched throughout the night coming up empty-handed. But a lucky guess by a local salvage expert led searchers to finding Steed on an uninhibited island near Homosassa Bay.
"I've been running these waterways for most of my life," said salvage expert Captain Ernie Croft.
The 65-year-old works for Sea Tow, a commercial salvage company.
"We're sort of like the Triple-A on the water," said Captain Croft.
His group was one of several organizations scouring the vast Gulf or Mexico surrounding St Martin Key searching for Steed.
"We had the coast guard out there with the helicopter, everybody was doing their part," Croft said.
However no one could locate Steed.
"I started farthest north of Bird Key, going around Bird Key to see if she went into the mangroves," said Croft.
The veteran captain said he had checked the tide maps and felt his best chances of finding her was about a mile and a half from where she was last scene. After checking three different key's, Croft made his way to Green Key Island.
"I was going to the fourth key and I saw her out in the middle of the bay, waving her fins," said Croft.
Steed spent nearly 12 hours treading water, she drank rainwater to stay hydrated and found her way to uninhabited island near Homosassa Bay.
To the relief of family and friends, Steed was just fine. Captain Croft says there will be plenty of celebrating especially after seeing what steed had held onto.
"She still had her bag of scallops, she didn't turn those loose," said Croft. "So I imagine her husbands cleaning scallops right now."