UK & World News

  • 22 June 2014, 12:16

Couple Saved After Treading Water For 14 Hours

A couple forced to tread water for 14 hours overnight after falling from their boat have been rescued by three fishermen.

Sean McGovern, 50, and Mellisa Morris, 52, drifted 10 nautical miles and suffered jellyfish stings and hypothermia after plunging into the sea off Key Largo, Florida on Friday evening while the boat was in gear.

The pair were left stranded without lifejackets or means of sending a distress signal as they watched their 30-foot pleasure boat pull away from them.

At 8am the next morning, three men who were fishing seven miles off Hallande Beach suddenly noticed splashing in the oceanand spotted Mr McGovern frantically trying to attract their attention with his t-shirt.

"We originally thought they were fish," rescuer James White told Fox News.

"We got up close and once we realised they were in trouble we brought them on board."

Fellow rescuer James Webb added: "They were in pretty bad shape.

"They were both cramping pretty bad, they were both dehydrated and very tired. They appeared mildly hypothermic."

Steve Couch, the third rescuer, said MrMcGovern told him the couple had both been stung by jellyfish.

He told WSVNTV that it was astounding the couple were able to survive overnight.

"Personally, I was surprised," he said. "I was amazed that they lasted that long in the water. I've just never seen something like that before."

Coast Guard officials said McGovern and Morris were both expected to make a full recovery.

Their boat washed-up on shore at Fort Lauderdale later that afternoon.

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