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  • Writer's pictureDeonesia Grays

Sunday Survival Story: The Rescue of a Kayaker in the Everglades

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-fatal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

It was a day for adventure and Mark Miele, 67, was ready for a week of kayaking in the Everglades. However, the week came and went, and Mark didn’t show back up at home. In fact, it was 12 days after his departure when Mark was finally rescued from the water- once rescuers were able to use his phone to help find his location!

What can we learn from Mark’s experience? First, he did a lot of things right. He is seen wearing a life jacket when pulled from the water- something everyone should wear when they are in a natural body of water or in a boat/kayak in case something unexpectantly happens- and he had packed his phone to have a way to communicate for help if needed.

What else could he have done?

Have a partner. You should never, ever swim alone, even us adults need water watchers and swim buddies! Make sure someone knows where you plan to be before you go. Have a plan in case of an emergency. Study the water you will be in and learn what opportunities for help are available before you need them!

We are glad for Mark and his family that his adventure ended with a safe return home, and we hope you can use Mark’s experience to keep yourself and others safe. Have fun and be safe when you Kayak!

-Survival story by Heather Babcock and Deonesia Grays

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