A couple treaded water 14 hours after falling overboard from their boat in Key Largo Friday night. Some off-duty public safety workers discovered the man and woman splashing in the water off the coast of Florida Saturday morning. Neither of the swimmers had on life jackets, CNN reports June 22
The Broward County Sheriff's Office says that Sean McGovern, 50, and Mellisa Morris, 52, had fallen off their boat when it was still in gear. The couple watched it pull away as they were abandoned in the water. U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Mark Barney says McGovern and Morris are very lucky because they didn't have any signal devices attached to them. They attempted signaling people with their T-shirt. To be discovered the way they were was a huge "stroke of luck right there," Barney says.
Los Angeles Times reports that the couple that treaded water for 14 hours was spotted around 8 a.m. off the coast of Hallandale Beach by an off-duty police detective and a firefighter while fishing.
Adam White, the detective, says:
"We saw birds diving. As we got closer, I saw fish jumping. We saw a white male with his shirt flagging us down."
Both men pulled the couple onto their boat. They had drifted 10 nautical miles and suffered mild hypothermia and jellyfish stings, according to the sheriff's department. White says they also checked them out to make sure they were "stable."
From that point on, the couple were transferred to the Coast Guard, which took them to the Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard station. Friends later picked them up.
"A lot of people don't wear life jackets because they don't have intention of being in water."
He says it's a "miracle" that the couple treaded water 14 hours and were able to be recovered. McGovern and Morris were both "pretty lucky" that someone was watching over them! The boat they were in washed ashore in Fort Lauderdale Saturday afternoon.