Charter Fishing Crew Saves Overboard Captain After Seven Hours in the Gulf of Mexico

by Jonathan Howard

Here’s a wild story out of Florida, because of course, that’s where it happened. A charter fishing crew saved an overboard man’s life. A commercial fishing boat captain fell overboard while in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. It was around midnight Sunday when he fell, and he was stuck in the waters, in the great (scary) outdoors, for nearly seven hours. While it likely felt as if he’d never be saved, he was eventually rescued.

Some kind folks passed by on a boat when they noticed something, or someone, in the water. Ryan VanBuskirk says that on Sunday morning, “I saw a gentleman waving. I said, ‘That’s a human out there!'”

No one from the overboard captain’s crew knew until 4 in the morning that he was missing. That’s when a crew member of the Fiona Leone notified the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard knew that the man was out in the water and knew that he had fallen off the boat without a life jacket sometime around 12 AM.

When they looked back on the whole situation, the charter fishing group was amazed at what happened. If their boat hadn’t been at that spot when it was, at the exact time of day, then it might have just floated on by. However, the morning sunrise illuminated the waters and gave them a look at the man in need.

“If the sun was not up, we probably would’ve hit him on accident,” Landon Little, a passenger said. “He swam for seven hours.”

This commercial fishing captain must be quite the athlete because his crew was surprised that he was so relaxed and refreshed.

“He looked like nothing was wrong with him,” his first mate said. “He was just excited to see us.”

Young Hockey Players Won’t Forget First Fishing Trip

Sometimes, you don’t always catch a fish when you go fishing. It’s always nice to get something, but rarely do you ever pull in a person. For the young junior hockey players on the charter boat, it’s going to be something they won’t ever forget. It’s not anything you can prepare for, but these kids helped act quickly and saved this man from having to swim any more than he already had in the seven hours before.

“First fishing trip, find a guy… At least we caught something big,” one of the players laughed.

As for the man they saved, he wanted to get back out and fish with his crew. However, the USCG had to pick him up and bring him back to shore. Making sure he was taken care of and not going through shock or something, I’m sure. However, he was in no physical distress, so perhaps he could have gone back out fishing that same day.

What would you do in that situation Outsiders? Do you think you could last seven hours in the Gulf of Mexico?