Home / National News / Investigation Closed on Ex-NFL Player's Boating Accident, 16-Hour Swim


(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Officials have closed an investigation into the boating accident that forced former National Football League player Robert Konrad to swim about 16 hours to shore.

An incident report released by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission details Konrad’s account given to law enforcement after he reached shore early on Jan. 8, including an estimate that his boat’s damages would cost $70,000.

The Bahamian government notified the U.S. Coast Guard that it found Konrad’s vessel in Grand Bahamas around Dead Man’s Reef on Jan. 9, according to the incident report.

Konrad, 38, who played for the Miami Dolphins from 1999 to 2004, told emergency responders that he’d fallen off his boat around 1 p.m. on Jan. 7 as it continued on autopilot toward the Bahamas.

Konrad told authorities he was taking his vessel from Boca Raton, Florida, to Riviera Beach in the Bahamas for “routine maintenance,” according to the report.

“Konrad decided he would recreational fish as he cruised to Riviera Beach,” the report said.

A police video shows Konrad as he sat huddled in a police car in Palm Beach, Florida, shivering under a blanket with the heat cranked all the way up in the early hours of Jan. 8.

Authorities met with Konrad and his attorney, William Rafferty, on Jan. 14 at Good Samaritan Hospital to record a witness statement. They met again on Jan. 29 at Mariner Marine in Riviera Beach to photograph the damage to the boat. A staff member at the business estimated the damage at $70,000.

The law enforcement report lists damage to his boat, including damaged windows, gear cases on both motors and the bottom gel coat and fiberglass.

Konrad later recounted his ordeal for the media, saying he “prayed to God” after falling from his 38-foot boat as he was trying to reel in a fish just as a large wave hit.

“I shouldn’t be here,” Konrad told reporters.

He described the frustration of seeing Coast Guard helicopters that didn’t spot him. He faced darkness, 10-foot waves and 25-mile-per-hour winds while his boat moved away on autopilot. Despite being bitten by jellyfish and seeing a shark circle him, he kept swimming.

Once he reached shore, he said it was “bittersweet” because he couldn’t walk.

“I had hypothermia and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t realize it was five in the morning,” he said.

Konrad and his attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

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