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Woman treads water 12 hours in ocean: Lost sight of boat when scallop diving

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A woman survived treading water for 12 hours overnight in the stormy seas off the Florida Keys after she lost sight of the boat she was on. Her husband, who was on the boat, also lost sight of her. Dora Steed, 49, was diving for scallops with her husband when their boat started to drift away. Her husband caught up to the boat and managed to climb aboard, but in the interim, he lost sight of his wife, according to ABC News on July 6.

Steed was reported missing by her husband around 6 p.m. on Thursday night. The Coast Guard and other volunteers on boats searched the area for Steed throughout the stormy night, without any luck. Captain Ernie Croft took a look at the tide table and decided to look along the shores of uninhabited islands nearby.

His hunch paid off, as Steed was in the water just off shore of one of those islands off the Florida Keys. All she had with her were flippers and a face mask. She stayed hydrated during the night using her face mask to catch rain water. When Croft pulled her on board his boat he was amazed that she was in such good shape. He even commented that she was in better shape than he was!

Through the 12-hour ordeal she tried to keep warm by staying submerged using her mask in the ocean water because it was warmer than the stormy air above. After this 12-hour ordeal, the woman still had the bag of scallops that she and her husband were diving for when they lost sight of the boat.

This is the second such incident in recent weeks, as a husband and a wife treaded water for 14 hours after falling off their boat. Their unoccupied boat sped away from them because it was in gear. That couple managed to stay afloat for 14 hours without life jackets, they too were off the Florida Keys, according to Fox News.

They were rescued by a passing fishing boat, the woman couldn’t move once she was brought on board. Luckily they were rescued by a group of friends who happened to be on vacation fishing. This group of men included a NYPD officer and two New York firefighters, all who had first responder experience. The couple was treated for hypothermia and jellyfish stings and flown by the Coast Guard to the hospital after they were taken off the fishing boat of their rescuers. Their empty boat was found on a beach in Fort Lauderdale.

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