FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Franklin County sheriff’s officials are trying to improve their response to water rescues in Apalachicola Bay.

Sheriff A.J Smith said the department had a rescue boat, but it was too large and used mainly off-shore.

Smith now plans to use three smaller boats, strategically place across the county in Eastpoint, Apalachicola and Carrabelle.

He believes they’re more accessible and better suited for water rescues.

Deputies utilized one of them Saturday when they rescued three people from a sinking boat.

“We have a lot of water, almost 60 miles of coastline and most of that’s protected bay. So it’s really important that we are able to respond because our dispatch center gets those 911 calls,” Smith said. “They don’t go to Tallahassee, they don’t go to Panama City, they come right here to Eastpoint.”

Smith is also hoping to organize charter captains as backups to help people in distress on the water.