Swimmers along Surfside Beach feared the worst Saturday evening when a small sailboat washed ashore without a soul on board. But thanks to a life vest and some good ol' fashioned perseverance, the owner of the 12-foot vessel managed to swim three miles back to the coast, where law enforcement found him safe and sound later that night.
“This goes to show that a life jacket can and will save your life,” operations specialist Raymond Clemons said from the Coast Guard's Houston-Galveston offices.
After a helicopter and response boat searched the water for an hour, county deputies spotted the 51-year-old boater far from where his abandoned craft was located. Still donning his safety vest, the man told authorities he fell off the boat and swam full three miles to shore.
“This goes to show that a life jacket can and will save your life,” operations specialist Raymond Clemons said in a Sunday statement from the Coast Guard's Houston-Galveston offices. “The important thing in this case is that the man not only had a life jacket on board but made sure he was utilizing it. That is what saved his life.”
Coast Guard representative Manda Emery tells CultureMap that, as of yet, her public affairs team has been unable to contact the boat owner to get further details about his impressive swim.