JACKSONVILLE, Florida – A man who decided to swim to safety after the boat he was on capsized about 15 miles offshore was rescued Sunday after spending 24 hours in the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. Coast Guard said. His four fishing companions also were rescued.
The missing fisherman was pulled from the water by an Air Force helicopter shortly after noon about 5 miles east of Mayport, Florida, Coast Guard Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska said.
The man, who was wearing a life jacket, was suffering from hypothermia and was flown to a Jacksonville hospital, Brzuska said. He is expected to survive.
"Everyone is in good condition and reunited with their families," Brzuska said of the men.
The five men were fishing in a 17-foot pleasure boat when it began taking on water and capsized about 11 a.m. Saturday, Brzuska said.
Four of the five men decided to swim for shore. The man who stayed with the capsized boat was rescued by another boater about 6 p.m. Saturday, the Coast Guard said.
The men who swam for shore were separated overnight. A Coast Guard rescue crew picked up two of them together about 8 a.m. Sunday and found the third a short time later. Rescuers redefined their search based on the position of the three swimmers and found the last man four hours later.
The boaters' identities were not released.