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Man overboard! Amazing story of survival after boat capsizes in Gulf of Mexico

Man overboard! Amazing story of survival after boat capsizes in Gulf

sailboat hobie boat
A man sailing a small Hobie Cat catamaran, like this one shown in a file photo, fell into the Gulf on Saturday, only to swim three full miles to shore. Courtesy of hobiecat.com

Swimmers along Surfside Beach in Galveston feared the worst Saturday evening when a small sailboat washed ashore without a soul on board. But thanks to a life vest and some good ol' fashioned perseverance, the owner of the 12-foot vessel managed to swim three miles back to the coast, where law enforcement found him safe and sound later that night. 

The survivor's Hobie Cat catamaran was found at 7 pm Saturday, prompting the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office to alert area emergency crews from the U.S. Coast Guard.

“This goes to show that a life jacket can and will save your life,” Raymond Clemons said.

After a helicopter and response boat searched the water for an hour, county deputies spotted the 51-year-old boater far from where his abandoned craft was located. Still donning his safety vest, the man told authorities he fell off the boat and swam full three miles to shore.

“This goes to show that a life jacket can and will save your life,” operations specialist Raymond Clemons said in a Sunday statement from the Coast Guard's Houston-Galveston offices. “The important thing in this case is that the man not only had a life jacket on board but made sure he was utilizing it. That is what saved his life.”

Coast Guard representative Manda Emery says that so far her public affairs team has been unable to contact the boat owner to get further details about his impressive swim.