Man swims to get help for fellow boater stranded in Gulf

10:54 AM, Feb 27, 2013   |    comments
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Hudson, Florida -- A boater stranded in the Gulf with no cell phone and no anchor made a bold move to swim to get help for his friend who stayed behind Tuesday night.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says 68-year-old Rick Smith was out in his 1982 Scorpion cabin boat with his friend Joseph Merten when the boat reportedly drifted off shore.

The men told authorities when the storm came in they tried to anchor the boat, but it broke away causing them to drift two miles into the Gulf. With no fuel or cell phone, Merten then decided to swim through the mangroves to get help while Smith stayed on the boat for another 12 hours.

Smith was rescued just before 11 p.m. about two miles off shore near Sea Pines. He was fine and did not need medical attention.

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