Home / National News / Florida Man Rescued After 20 Hours in the Ocean With No Life Jacket


(NEW YORK) —  A man was rescued in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday after treading water for 20 hours with no life jacket, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

On Wednesday morning, William Durden, 61, of Reno, Nevada set out alone in his boat from the coast of Central Florida, the USCG said in a statement.

But when he didn’t return that night, his wife informed the Coast Guard that he was missing.

Durden became lost and was thrown from his boat on Wednesday afternoon.

“I left the boat in gear and I shouldn’t have, walking to the back of the boat I was by myself,” Durden told ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa, Florida. “I went back to grab a rod, something yanked it and pulled me right over.”

At 1:10 a.m. on Thursday his boat was found in the mangroves near St. Martins Key, near Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Durden was rescued by the Coast Guard this afternoon, after being at sea for more than 20 hours. He told WFTS-TV he relied on his navy training for situations just like this.

The USCG released video of the dramatic helicopter rescue on their Twitter page.

#BreakingNews @USCGSoutheast releases video of Homosassa boater #rescue. Thanks to @MyFWC for assistance! #partners pic.twitter.com/ZSlHiIMPr3

— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 2, 2016

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