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 TT News


Missing angler rescued from Atlantic after 24 hours at sea
October 3rd 2006 2:35pm
Associated Press


JACKSONVILLE, FLa. - 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.

Clinton Daughtry, 27, was pulled from the water by an Air Force helicopter shortly after noon about 5 miles east of Mayport, Coast Guard Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska said.

The man, who was wearing a life jacket, had 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.

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.

Daughtry; Mike Vitko, 27; John Hodgkiss, 22; and Travis Britt, 22, put on life jackets and swam for shore, Brzuska said. Chip Bloomer, 40, stayed with the capsized boat and was rescued by another boater about 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

The men who swam for shore were separated overnight. A Coast Guard rescue crew picked up Hodgkiss and Britt together about six miles from shore around 8:20 a.m. Sunday, Brzuska said. Ten minutes later, a Navy helicopter spotted Vitko about three miles offshore and guided a rescue boat in to pick him up.

Rescuers redefined their search grid based on the position of the three swimmers and spotted Daughtry about four hours later. A total of six helicopters, a Navy search plane and two rescue boats participated in the search.










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