67 Year Old Man Nearly Dies While Kayaking

THIS COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN AVOIDED

 Daily outdoor excursions are truly what we all live for. Let’s face it, a day of fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, etc. are all invigorating and gives a feeling of new life.

Multi-day trips can also be some of the most satisfying pleasures life can offer. A weekend to the cottage or camping is a staple in the north (or anywhere for that fact).

When it comes to extended adventures however, it’s about common sense and preparation!

A NEAR TRAGEDY

A recent news story came up as an elderly 67-year-old man Mark Miele, embarked on a one-week kayak voyage in the Florida Everglades. A thing of beauty for sure. However, he obviously did not take all the precautions that he should have (or at least from what I read).

The man’s intention was a one-week trip. However, Miele did not return home at his expected time. Once his family reported him not coming home, the local sheriff’s office started a search.

Ingeniously they downloaded data from Miele’s phone from the last time he used it (Sunday night) and used his most recent coordinates, which were logged on Jan. 31, to launch an aerial search. They found his phone and belongings but not Mark.

Continuing the search, the Aviation Unit discovered Mark and was able to guide a police boat to his location, just a few miles away from where his belongings were discovered. He was floating face up with a yellow life jacket on, alive!

Not much has been said as to his belongings with him and any safety devices other than the PFD he was wearing.

His PFD and his phone were the only reasons he lived. All this haphazard searching could have been brought to a minimum had Mark taken some extra precautions.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE

If you are about to embark on a multiple day or especially a weeklong+ trek into the wild, there are a couple of “extras” you really need to bring along.

The above-mentioned guy needed a GPS unit. That alone would have saved his agony of being lost or missing.

The other piece of kit is a global satellite communication device.

Both are highly recommended.

Nowadays, GPS’s are the norm. We have them in our vehicles, we have them in our boats, we have them in our phones. If we have a GPS unit on hand, we’re unlikely to get lost. A portable hand-held unit is essential for a trip like the above Kayaker was on.

Garmin’s eTrex 10 is an economical way of knowing where you are and how to get back to your starting point or your final destination.

As for the global satellite communication device, Garmin’s inReach series is world-class. For activities like kayaking where bulk is an issue, the inReach Mini is perfect. It takes up hardly any room yet is always available if need be.

Garmin InReach
The Garmin inReach Mini was created as a lifesaver, and it works!

BILLY DON’T BE A HERO

That old song Billy Don’t Be A Hero should be on the playlist of anyone that decides to venture out into the great outdoors for an extended length of time and feels that a GPS and an inReach are overkill.  Who needs it right?

Use your head, don’t be dead!

Sources:

https://wset.com/news/local/virginia-man-found-floating-in-everglades-after-missing-for-several-days

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/regional/florida/man-rescued-from-florida-everglades-after-twelve-days-thanks-to-phone-data/67-8a044dd0-127c-4c47-b0ec-ce1be210ef0e

8 Replies to “67 Year Old Man Nearly Dies While Kayaking”

  1. Oh come on people! Get a grip! This foolish 67 year old man was saved by the Grace of God and nothing more! His P.F.D. and his phone were not the reasons he lived. They were the reasons he was rescued. How so you may ask? Well, I will fill you in on a few facts when you expose your life to the dangers of the Florida Everglades.

    First off, no amount of safety equipment will save your bacon without indoctrinating common sense, logic, a whole lot of pre-planning and being aware of your surroundings while having a thorough knowledge of the area’s wildlife, PERIOD! Time and time again we see Anglers and outdoors men and women (especially men) brave the elements with a gung-ho attitude, Hades bend on out witting nature. Yeah, “Damn the torpedoes and pass the ammunition” sort of thing, only to have it all blow up in their faces! They wind up dead with all sorts of safety equipment surrounding their floating corpse, or at least what is left of the body.

    Secondly in the Florida Everglades, nonchalant, unprepared and wayward travelers will literally have their flesh ripped apart by any number of DEADLY wild creatures such as the American Alligator, the American Crocodile, Wild Hogs and the Florida Panther.

    The American Alligator is regarded as a “keystone” species in the Everglades. It is an official state reptile of Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The American alligator is relatively large in size with the adult male measuring 11-16 feet in length and can weigh up to 1,320 pounds. The female common alligator is relatively smaller, measuring 9.8 feet. The alligator lives in freshwater wetlands such as marshes and swamps. It feeds on fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals while the hatchings feed on invertebrates. The common alligator is listed as Least Concern by the I.U.C.N. in the Everglades due to the conservation efforts that have allowed them to increase in number.

    The American Crocodile inhabits the southern half of Florida covered by the Everglades National Park. It is a larger crocodile species with the male measuring about 20 feet in length and weighing up to 2,000 pounds. The females are relatively smaller, measuring about 12 feet in length. The American Crocodile has four snouts, stocky legs, and a strong tail. The eyes and ears are located on top of its head, allowing the rest of the body to be concealed underwater during a surprise attack. Despite the large size, the American crocodile does not attack large mammals but rather feed on fish, reptiles, and small mammals. It is potentially dangerous to human beings but is not as aggressive as other species.

    If they don’t get you in process, I’m sure the Eastern Diamond Back Rattlesnake would like to take a poke at you. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. Some reach 8 feet in length and weigh up to 10 pounds.

    These stout-bodied pit vipers generally live in the dry, pine flat woods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. Their pattern of yellow-bordered, light-centered black diamonds makes them among the most strikingly adorned of all North American reptiles. They are natural exterminators, surviving on such household pests as rats and mice, as well as squirrels and birds.

    Feared as deadly and aggressive, diamondbacks are actually highly averse to human contact and only attack in defense. Most bites occur when humans taunt or try to capture or kill a rattlesnake. They can accurately strike at up to one-third their body length. Diamondback venom is a potent hemotoxin that kills red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans if treatment immediate is not administered. Being out in the Everglades is somewhat of a death knell in this situation.

    Your bloated body would float so well in the the murky water. Then again with these Alligators and Crocodiles lurking beneath the surface I doubt your corpse would ever be located.

    So let’s review :

    As I stated, ” This foolish 67 year old man was saved by the Grace of God and nothing more! His P.F.D. and his phone were not the reasons he lived. They were the reasons he was rescued. No amount of safety equipment will save your bacon without indoctrinating common sense, logic, a whole lot of pre-planning and being aware of your surroundings while having a thorough knowledge of the area’s wildlife, PERIOD!

    Relying totally on inanimate objects/safety equipment to save your life will get you DEAD!

    1. As usual thanks Calvin, love your responses. That said, if they didn’t find his phone and he wasn’t wearing his PFD, do you think 100% that he would have lived?

      1. You seem to have missed my point, Pete. Allow me to stress again. This foolish 67 year old man was saved by the Grace of God and nothing more! “His P.F.D. and his phone were not the reasons he lived. They were the reasons he was rescued.” (without the P.F.D. and phone he definitely would have died either by drowning or Hypothermia) Fortunately for him and by the Grace of God he was not eaten by Gators or Crocks!!!

        I rest my case!

        1. One more thing Pete, before I send my case to the jury for deliberation.

          You will notice in the above photograph that this man’s P.F.D. (life jacket) does not fit properly. Apparently it is also water logged as a result of a rip or tear. His face barely above water. Now, considering the poor and weak condition this man was found in when he was rescued, he certainly would have DIED from hypothermia or any such malady while wearing his P.F.D had they been unable to rescue him when they did. His P.F.D. would NOT have saved his life by any means. A floating corpse wrapped in a life vest doesn’t last long in the Florida Everglades.

          Furthermore, he most certainly would and could have “met his maker” as a result of a Gator or Croc attack at any point from the time he entered the water until his fortunate rescue. His P.F.D. would NOT have saved his life.

          So you see, this foolish 67 year old man was saved by the Grace of God and nothing more! His P.F.D. and his phone were not the reasons he lived. They were the reasons he was rescued. No amount of safety equipment will save your bacon without indoctrinating common sense, logic, a whole lot of pre-planning and being aware of your surroundings while having a thorough knowledge of the area’s wildlife, PERIOD!

          I am 100% sure his phone and P.F.D. did NOT save his life! Remember the Biblical story of Daniel in the lions den? (Daniel 6: 16-23) The Florida Everglades is certainly a lions den!

          Daniel 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the King spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom though servest continually, he will deliver thee.

          Daniel 17: And a stone was brought, and and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

          Daniel 18: Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.

          Daniel 19: Then the king arouse very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.

          20: And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake unto Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God whom tho servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?

          21: Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

          22: My God hath sent his angel, and had shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king I have done no hurt.

          23: Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.

          *The parameters of these two occurrences is astounding and indisputable.

          1. I especially like the one “thou shalt not commit adultery”… I keep reminding the wife of that one!

  2. Glad he was found though really just calling him an adult or man would suffice for the story is there any reason to use age. If its not a kid why put it down. Not so “elderly” if he is all about that activity he is in good shape. I wont even go near the everglades I would rather deal with our moose & bears.

    1. I only used his age since that is what all the news feeds used. Not sure why I would not have used it. And there was no intent to put him personally down, I made that don’t be a hero reference for those reading and then venturing out.

      Moose and Bears vs Crocs and Gators, who’s your money on Angelehm?

    2. Haul back on the reins there Anelehm! You are setting a very dangerous precedence for yourself when you state , “You would rather deal with our Moose or Bear.” Pete can correct me if I am wrong, but when he says, “Moose and Bears vs Crocs and Gators, who’s your money on Angelehm? well I tend to agree, you are DEAD either way.

      As I said in my post, “Time and time again we see Anglers and outdoors men and women (especially men) brave the elements with a gung-ho attitude, Hades bend on out witting nature. Yeah, “Damn the torpedoes and pass the ammunition” sort of thing, only to have it all blow up in their faces! They wind up dead with all sorts of safety equipment surrounding their floating corpse, or at least what is left of the body.”

      Fact : Moose are the largest members of the deer family, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They are also the tallest mammals in North America. Their height, from hoof to shoulder, ranges from 5 to 6.5 feet (1.5 to 2 meters). Males are heavier than females; males weigh 794 to 1,323 pounds (360 to 600 kilograms), while females weigh 595 to 882 pounds (270 to 400 kg), according to the National Museum of Natural History.

      Moose have short tails, a hump on their shoulders and large ears that can rotate to give them stereophonic hearing. Their fur is generally brown or black and provides excellent insulation from the cold. Male moose, called bulls, have massive antlers. These can grow 6 feet (1.8 m) wide from tip to tip. Antlers are only used for fighting for a mate, and they are shed each winter after mating season, which runs from September to October.

      They will literally gut you like a fish Angelehm and then some.

      On the other hand, wild male Black Bears of breeding age usually weigh between 125 and 500 pounds, depending upon age, season, and food. Very well fed bears can be heavier. The heaviest bear was claimed be a male shot in 1972 in New Brunswick that weighed 902 pounds after it had been dressed, estimated to be over 1,000 pounds in life. Wild females usually weigh between 90 and 300 pounds with the heaviest known female weighing 520 pounds in northeastern Minnesota on August 30, 1993. Black bears in captivity may exceed these records.

      These critters will enjoy slicing you up like a loaf of bread Angelahm. Slap on a generous amount of fresh honey and dinner is served!

      Never, ever tangle with a wild animal of any species, big or small. Interaction can a will be potentially fatal. Bites, gashes or other afflictions , left untreated, sloppily attended to or misdiagnosed will be your epitaph.

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