A missing kayaker from Virginia was found in the Florida Everglades after losing everything but his flotation device.
Williamsburg resident Mark Miele was on a solo excursion in the Everglades National Park when he somehow lost his kayak. Local law enforcement and park rangers rescued the 67-year-old Virginia man after an extensive search of the area. He was found with just his life vest holding him afloat in the waters of the Lopez River.
The search had been prompted by Miele's failure to return from his trip on January 29, and GPS coordinates of his cell phone (located in a different part of the river bank) were used to triangulate his position. Park rangers found some of his belongings and initiated the search along with local law enforcement officers.
Take a look at the dramatic rescue video, courtesy of the Collier County Sheriff's Department. You can see just how dire Miele's situation was as he bobbed in the water. The Everglades are known as the natural habitat for Florida alligators and other dangerous wildlife.
The Miele family released this statement about the rescue through the Collier County Sheriff's Office:
“Mark is recovering and is stable. We thank the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and all of the search rangers, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. We couldn’t have worked with a more wonderful, caring, kind, and straightforward group of people. It’s a miracle he’s alive and in the condition he is in. We would also like to thank the professionals at Physicians Regional Hospital (Collier Boulevard) for their competency and caring ways.”
For more information about the rescue, visit the Collier County Sheriff's Office on Facebook. The Miele family will continue to update the public as needed and have asked that they not be contacted directly about this incident.
What are your thoughts on this incredible search and rescue effort? Sound off in the comments!