Medina, Ohio - Friends and colleagues of a Cleveland-area family who went missing in the Florida Everglades celebrated their safe rescue Friday.
"Everybody is just so pleased because everyone loves him," said Susan Houser, who works with Scott Schreck at the Medina Country Club where he's been a golf instructor for nearly 20 years. "He's a great guy."
Scott Schreck, his wife Carrie Schreck and their three young boys never returned from their airboat excursion Thursday after their boat apparently got stuck in thick vegetation.
"You can only think the worst when you hear something like that just because of where they were and being in an airboat doesn't give much protection," said Schreck's colleague, Jamme Powers.
The Schrecks spent the night in the Florida wilderness which is home to alligators, panthers and snakes among other animals. Thunderstorms swept through the area while they were stranded as law enforcement, fire rescue and wildlife agencies launched a massive search using helicopters, airplanes and airboats.
"I'm sure he put everything into place to make sure his kids were safe," said Houser.
Friends and colleagues described Schreck as an outdoorsman who loves to duck hunt and fish. They said they were hopeful he used his skills while waiting for help.
"If there's anybody we thought would survive something like that, it was him," said Powers.
The family was spotted by a helicopter after searchers heard them blowing whistles and an air horn. They appeared to be in good health as they walked off their airboat onto land with rescuers Friday.
"I couldn't play golf worth a darn until I heard he was safe," said Roger Ingraham, a longtime friend of Schrecks.
Dozens of golfers, employees and friends of Schrecks gathered at the Medina Country Club's Granite Grill late afternoon Friday to celebrate the good news with beer and popcorn.
"Everybody is very up because of this," said Ingraham.
They said the celebration will continue when their beloved golf pro returns to work.
"Oh my gosh, it's going to be better than a hole in one," said Houser.