A couple that fell off their boat was saved after treading water for 14 hours, reports CNN.
Thanks to some off-duty public safety workers, and incredible luck, the saved couple was found treading water off the Florida coast by the public safety workers who were out for a fishing trip but saved the couple instead.
They saved the couple after finding them all alone and 7 miles from shore in the desolate situation, treading water.
According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, the saved couple told them that they’d spent the last 14 hours treading water.
The two were identified as Sean McGovern, 50, and Mellisa Morris, 52.
Happy to be found, saved, and no longer treading water, the couple said they’d fallen overboard from their boat in Key Largo around 6 pm Friday night. The boat was in gear and the couple watched helplessly as it drove away from them, said the sheriff’s department.
Another report differs slightly, saying the boat “capsized,” leaving the couple helplessly stranded. Regardless, they ended up alone, treading water, surrounded by nothing but open ocean.
Of course having no idea if anyone would find them, or that they ultimately would be saved, particularly in the dark, meant that a long night followed for the couple.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney, reflected on how fortunate the couple was to be saved:
“They are very lucky — they didn’t have any signal device,” said Barney. “They were trying to signal people down with their T-shirt. To be located and recovered by off-duty cops and a firefighter — that’s a stroke of luck right there.”
It was approximately 8 am Saturday when two Broward sheriff detectives, a Broward firefighter, and the father-in-law of one of the men noticed the couple splashing in the water out ahead of their boat, said the sheriff’s department.
“We saw birds diving,” said one of the detectives, Adam Lee. “As we got closer, I saw fish jumping. We saw a white male with his shirt flagging us down.”
McGovern and Morris were quickly pulled into the boat, the saved couple in remarkably good shape. They were reportedly exhausted, possibly suffering from mild hypothermia and jellyfish stings, but other than that are fine, according to the sheriff’s department.
“We checked them out, made sure they were stable,” said Lee.
The saved, and thankful, couple were handed off to the Coast Guard and picked up by friends in Fort Lauderdale.
“A lot of people don’t wear life jackets because they don’t have (any) intention of being in (the) water,” Barney said. “It was a miracle they were able to tread water that long and were safely recovered.”
“They’re pretty lucky,” Lee agreed. A couple saved from what could’ve been a terrible and horrific boating tragedy.
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