Fisherman thrown overboard walks on water for 10 hours, rescued in intra-coastal waterway
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Saturday evening, Kevin Olmstead was rescued by boat after 10 hours of standing still in the middle of the Mississippi Strait.
Olmstead said it started after a morning of fishing. He was packing to leave the West End of Dauphin Island on Saturday around 10 a.m. He decided to grab his life jacket because the water was getting choppy.
Olmstead said he thought he had put his boat in neutral, so he undid the kill switch and turned to grab his life jacket when choppy water knocked him out of his boat.
Before he knew it, the boat was out of his reach and still going.
Olmstead was in the middle of the Mississippi Strait without a life jacket. He said he immediately went into survival mode.
He took off his shirt, tied the sleeves to create air bubbles for a tiny bit of buoyancy.
Then he said he started walking against the current for almost 10 hours.
His eyes were focused on a nearby pylon in the intra-coastal waterway, he said.
Once he got there, he said hyperthermia was setting in. His hands and legs were twitching but he was determined to hang on for his wife and children!
Finally, after about 20 minutes hanging from the pylon and just before sunset, one of his fishing buddies who had joined the rescue teams spotted him and brought him home.
Olmstead was airlifted to hospital with hyperthermia, but he’s fine.
He said he was so grateful to the rescue teams who found him.
He also wanted to remind all boaters to make sure the boat is in neutral before getting out of the driver’s seat and to always have a life jacket on it or somewhere you can easily grab it.
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