Lost Kayker in Florida Everglades Found After 12 Days


A man went on a solo kayaking trip in the Florida Everglades last month and apparently lost his bearings, because he was lost out there for nearly two weeks.

Authorities said Mark Miele, 67, set out on his kayaking adventure in the Everglades National Park on Jan. 22 and was supposed to return one week later on Jan. 29.

Well, the week concluded and there was still no sign or word from Mark. ABC News reports Miele’s bag containing his cell phone and wallet had washed up on a bank along the Lopez River on Sunday, but he was no where to be found.

After discovering Miele’s belongings, authorities working at the National Park called the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to assist in the search.

With not much to go on, deputies used data from Miele’s recovered cell phone and was able to determine his most recent location had been recorded sometime on Friday. Just enough information to give the aviation unit a general area to target during their search and rescue mission.

Just before noon on Monday, a helicopter crew spotted somebody wearing a life jacket and floating in the water. It was Mark.

He was found a few miles away from where his belongings were found the day before. Checkout footage from the rescue below:

The sheriff’s marine unit, alongside National Park Service rangers and officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, reached Miele and transferred him to a Naples hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

“We’re so grateful to share a successful end to a search and rescue of a missing paddler in the park who had been on the Wilderness Waterway.

Many thanks to MyFWC Florida Fish and Wildlife, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, and Big Cypress National Preserve who assisted us in the search and to our rangers who rescued the paddler from the water.

The paddler is now safe and being treated by medical staff at the hospital.

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