January 9, 2015

"Ex Miami Dolphin Player Falls Overboard, Swims 9 Miles to Shore."

Wow! I love stories like that.

And he was a Dolphin.

2 of my favorite topics — 2 of my oft-used tags — survival and metaphor.

70 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

Endurance and perseverance is a good thing

Ann Althouse said...

Total posts with the survival tag: 167

Total posts with the metaphor tag: 647

Curious George said...

Was the boat okay?

MisterBuddwing said...

Did he do it on porpoise?

::shrug::

Ann Althouse said...

I'd like to think I could swim 9 miles if I needed to.

I know I can walk 9 miles, and swimming is something you can just continue to do. You can rest, floating on your back and still make progress. I would think the hard part about covering 9 miles swimming would be if you had to overcome a current that was sweeping you out, so that you knew you weren't making progress or were making negative progress even with great effort. At some point, perhaps you should just float and hope for rescue. I think if I could see the shore, I'd keep swimming.

Best to study up on the survival techniques before going out there.

I haven't done that, and the truth is, I think being out on a boat is, for me, just about the least enjoyable of the activities that other people seem to find highly enjoyable.

rehajm said...

If he was a Seahawk, it's non news.

Ann Althouse said...

"The boat was on autopilot and drifted away from him."

He fell off the boat.

How does stuff like that even happen?

I'm distracted by wanting to celebrate this man's 9-mile swimming achievement... but what the hell happened here? How do you fall out of a boat that you have on autopilot? Was he really 9 miles out? What's on that boat?

Bryan C said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sItfoiWpnb8

"Cuz' fishes have a better life than people..."

Wince said...

And he was a Dolphin.

As a Dolphin, did he stop to hump a few "eco-tourists" before reaching shore?

I thought those boat auto-pilots revert to "circle" either with a proximity fob or some other lack of human input.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"The boat was on autopilot and drifted away from him."

He fell off the boat.

How does stuff like that even happen?

I'm distracted by wanting to celebrate this man's 9-mile swimming achievement... but what the hell happened here? How do you fall out of a boat that you have on autopilot? Was he really 9 miles out? What's on that boat? "

He was fishing. It's common to have auto-pilot so the boat can follow specific structures. My boat has that. And it wouldn't be that hard to fall out of a boat while trying to land a fish.

As far as swimming 9 miles...you can't sit and float for long...hypothermia is a real risk. I'm not sure what the water temp was where he was at...but I am positive that it was lower then his body temp.

tim in vermont said...

When fishing alone in my boat, I wear my life vest. It is just too easy to fall off of a boat and the wind can easily take the boat away faster than the average mortal can swim.

Ann Althouse said...

"When fishing alone in my boat, I wear my life vest. It is just too easy to fall off of a boat and the wind can easily take the boat away faster than the average mortal can swim."

Yeah, but then what? He'd still have to swim if the boat got away from him. And the hypothermia is waiting to get him...

Laslo Spatula said...

Thank goodness he wasn't a hockey player, or he would've had to look out for the San Jose Sharks.

I am Laslo.

tim in vermont said...

I fish on a lake and the boat gets rocked by the chop, I would never go on the ocean alone in a boat. I have fished off of Palm Beach in a 26 ft boat many times, and on a calm day, the seas are 2-4 ft, with occasional bigger waves, which can knock you off your feet if you are distracted by fighting a fish, for example, or reaching over the side to gaff it, or whatever.

tim in vermont said...

The guy is obviously an enviable physical specimen to have survived it.

Nonapod said...

As a former professional athlete it's not surprising he'd have the endurance, stamina, and willpower to survive that. It's amazing what one can do when one has no choice.

JAORE said...

Fatigue is an obvious factor, Ann. But you are right, you can rest a bit, particularly in salt water. A larger problem becomes hypothermia. Absent constant motion you will cool your core and slip away.

Laslo Spatula said...

The good thing is that he didn't have a Super Bowl ring to weigh him down.

I am Laslo.

garage mahal said...

I wonder what he was fishing for 9 miles out from shore. He would have had to swim through the gulfstream. Something doesn't seem right about this story. Nobody fishes that far out alone at night.

Laslo Spatula said...

Baltimore Raven falls overboard, manages to beat wife anyway.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Aaron Rodgers falls overboard, Suh still manages to step on him. Twice.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

Jay Cutler throws himself overboard, still misses the water.

I am Laslo.

Oso Negro said...

How does stuff like that even happen?

Odds are he was standing up to take a piss. Apparently quite a number of offshore male drowning victims are found with their flys unzipped.

Wince said...

Fa Love Pa?

"Everybody loves everybody. Now for chrissakes let's get the hell outta here!"

Original Mike said...

"It's amazing what one can do when one has no choice."

I'm reminded of the guy who cut off his arm to free himself.

Michael said...

Garage

The west wall of the Gulf Stream is around 9 miles from PB. If he was swimming for 13 hours and was found at 4:30 in the morning he was not fishing at night.

He was likely trolling for bill fish, cobra, big grouper. Lots of bigh fish in the Gulf Stream.

Michael said...

Cobia, not cobra

chillblaine said...

Why did he fall off the boat? Does he have post-concussion syndrome?

garage mahal said...

He was likely trolling for bill fish, cobra, big grouper. Lots of bigh fish in the Gulf Stream..

Swordfish would be my guess fishing on the other side of the gulfstream at night. I fished many years out of the Boca Raton inlet. The only time we crossed the gulfstream was to make a run to the Grand Bahamas. Not many people make that run in the winter. Glad he made it though.

Larry J said...

garage mahal said...
I wonder what he was fishing for 9 miles out from shore. He would have had to swim through the gulfstream. Something doesn't seem right about this story. Nobody fishes that far out alone at night.


The article said that he was found at 4:40 am and had been in the water for 10-12 hours. It didn't say how long he'd been ashore when he was found. That means he likely fell overboard sometime around 4:00-6:30 PM the day before. It still could've been daylight when it happened.

If he swam 9 miles in 10 hours, that's a pretty impressive accomplishment. There wouldn't be a lot of time to stop and rest unless he has a pretty fast swimming pace.

tim in vermont said...

I wonder what he was fishing for 9 miles out from shore. He would have had to swim through the gulfstream. Something doesn't seem right about this story. Nobody fishes that far out alone at night.

We have fished the Gulf Stream out of PB inlet lots of times. Often for Mahi, but hoping for billfish. Now with gas so cheap, we would probably be doing it again. Salt water boat sold, alas.

Michael said...

Garage

He wasn't fishing at night. He was swimming for shore all night. Arithmetic. I think he was on the west wall of the Gulf Stream. I doubt he would have been able to swim across the GS had he been on the other side. Unless he fell off near Miami

Fritz said...

There's an amusing story about someone who anchored their boat in an inlet in Florida and fell out on an outgoing tide. He was swept out into the ocean, and a few hours later, swept back in and managed to get back on his boat.

Warm water is great, but even 70 F water will suck the heat out of you faster than you can imagine.

I know half a dozen people who have fallen off boats for one reason or another.

That big red coat on my avatar is Mustang float coat, which will keep you up long enough that they should be able to to find the body and pay the life insurance.

Lauderdale Vet said...

"Konrad told them he was idling in his fishing boat, caught a fish, and while trying to land it, fell off the boat."

I imagine the gulfstream carried him that far, and the 10 hours was spent swimming perpendicular to the current to get to shore.

Paddy O said...

This reminds me of the Magnum P.I. episode where he treads water for 24 hours until he was rescued by Rick and TC.

Lauderdale Vet said...

If you're interested in the gulfstream, this seems to be a handy page.

Fritz said...

A brief guide to survival time versus temperature

Temp exhaustion or unconsciousness expected survival
70–80° F (21–27° C) - 3–12 hours - 3 hours – indefinitely

60–70° F (16–21° C) - 2–7 hours - 2–40 hours

50–60° F (10–16° C) - 1–2 hours - 1–6 hours

40–50° F (4–10° C) - 30–60 minutes - 1–3 hours

32.5–40° F (0–4° C) - 15–30 minutes - 30–90 minutes

<32° F (<0° C) - Under 15 minutes -
Under 15–45 minutes

http://www.ussartf.org/cold_water_survival.htm

So in the Gulf Stream or the Florida Coast, he had plenty of time if he was a good swimmer. Lake Superior, or the Chesapeake Bay today, not so much.

Jason said...

Best. Dolphin. Football moment. In years.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

2 of my favorite topics — 2 of my oft-used tags...

I'll bet he wasn't swimming in long pants...

Jason said...

Clinging to a floating wine box for dear life!

Jason said...

Remember: Eddie Aikau volunteered.

#hawaiians

The Drill SGT said...

That big red coat on my avatar is Mustang float coat, which will keep you up long enough that they should be able to to find the body and pay the life insurance.

True story. Irish fisher families all used to have unique sweater stitches / patterns so that corpses could be ID'd when they washed up after two weeks at sea...

gadfly said...

Alone on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean nine miles from shore!

Robert Konrad should use some of the education provided by Syracuse University to help him decide to join the lawsuit against the NFL for brain injuries.

He has a convincing story to tell the judge.

Fritz said...

"Alone on a boat in the Atlantic Ocean nine miles from shore!"

Not that big a deal, if you just stay in the boat.

garage mahal said...

I think he was on the west wall of the Gulf Stream. I doubt he would have been able to swim across the GS had he been on the other side.

Article says he swam 9 miles to shore. The gulfstream is 5-7 miles from the PB shore.

The Drill SGT said...

GM, he could have been 6 miles off the beach when he fell in, and ended up 9 miles NW of where he fell in, when he came ashore. both items are not exclusive of each other

MarkW said...

I'll bet you he buys himself one of these things when he gets himself a new boat:

http://www.floridasportsman.com/2014/06/03/wireless-kill-switch/

Known Unknown said...

Article says he swam 9 miles to shore. The gulfstream is 5-7 miles from the PB shore.

Did he swim directly to shore, or did the current force him to swim longer than a direct route?

Think, man.

Larry J said...

Paddy O said...
This reminds me of the Magnum P.I. episode where he treads water for 24 hours until he was rescued by Rick and TC.


If all you're trying to do is stay alive and not go somewhere, there's a simple technique called drown proofing that will let you stay alive as long as hypothermia (or a shark) gets you. I learned it in the Army. It's a very easy technique to learn and perform. You won't make any distance but you can stay alive.

Lauderdale Vet said...

This is where you can see how far offshore the gulfstream is from WPB, if you're curious.

Port Everglades is here in Fort Lauderdale.

Lake Worth is akin to West Palm Beach.

garage mahal said...

Did he swim directly to shore, or did the current force him to swim longer than a direct route?

Think, man.


The Coast Guard said he swam 9 miles to shore. I suppose they could have based that from where he fell in and where he ended up on the beach. If they knew where he fell in. He likes to fish in his underwear which I thought was a bit off? Still, for some reason I think this story will be revised.

Humperdink said...

If he was a Steeler, he'd drop like anchor.

Unknown said...

from the "Drownproofing" link:

"...all white people have some positive buoyancy but, in a sample of young African American males, 30% had negative boyancy."

Known Unknown said...

30% had negative boyancy."

"Boy" ancy? Racist.

Known Unknown said...

Still, for some reason I think this story will be revised.

Probably. Have they checked the boat?

DanTheMan said...

>>Nobody fishes that far out alone at night.

What???? You lived in Boca, and think that?
Go to any ocean side ramp at night, and I promise you will see guys launching, by themselves, and heading out to fish.
Not never, but every night the weather allows.

garage mahal said...

What???? You lived in Boca, and think that?
Go to any ocean side ramp at night, and I promise you will see guys launching, by themselves, and heading out to fish.
Not never, but every night the weather allows.


I've never heard/saw anyone crossing the gulf stream, at night, in the winter, alone.

DanTheMan said...

Folks have gone from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini on jet skis.
In north Florida, it's a 50 mile run to the stream. I know at least one guy who has made that run, spent the night on the boat.
All by his lonesome.
With a PFD, reliable bilge pumps, and decent weather, it's not the feat you make it out to be.

Anonymous said...

Ann said "I would think the hard part about covering 9 miles swimming would be if you had to overcome a current that was sweeping you out"

Yes, the current, but the waves, too! Ocean waves can be merciless, & even so-called small ones can cause a human lots of grief when you can't escape them.
Glad he survived!

garage mahal said...

Folks have gone from Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini on jet skis

I bet they didn't do in January.

DanTheMan said...

Miami, last week:
High 82. Low, 79.

In January.

garage mahal said...

So, did they cross on jet skis in Jan?

Jason said...

Is there anybody who demonstrates himself to be a drooling frigging ignoramus so consistently as garage, on such a diverse array of topics?

My hat's off to you, window-licker.

garage mahal said...

Is there anybody who demonstrates himself to be a drooling frigging ignoramus so consistently as garage, on such a diverse array of topics?

That's some pretty impressive sniping safely from the sidelines. Well done.

Michael said...

Garage

Should you fall into the ocean and are required to swim a great distance one of the very first thing you will do is take off your pants.

Do you know how to swim? Have you ever tried to swim the length of a pool in long pants? In khaki shorts?

Michael said...

Garage

If you are sailing off to Grand Bahama you are very likely going to set off in the dead of night.

Again, it is not clear that he was on the east side of the gulf stream, a location you seem to think of significance.

Michael said...

9 miles from shore in a boat of the size described is probably a haul of 20 minutes. Smooth seas and a fast boat in a lot less

Jason said...

garage, of all people, yapping his gums about "sniping safely from the sidelines?"

That's pretty fucking rich.

You do nothing but sideline sniping, all day, every day. You just suck at it.

Fritz said...

Unknown said...
from the "Drownproofing" link:

"...all white people have some positive buoyancy but, in a sample of young African American males, 30% had negative boyancy."


Nature is biased?

Jason said...

Classic Garage moment:

Observer: "Someone already took Jetskis to Bimini."

Garage: "Bet they didn't do it in January."

Me: "Dumbass."

Garage: "WAY TO SNIPE SAFELY FROM THE SIDELINES!!!"

Lulz