On January 22 a 67-year-old Virginia man, Mark Miele, set out for a solo kayaking trip through the Florida Everglades. He was due back on January 29 but failed to make it back. People began to search.
According to a post made on Collier County’s Sherriff’s Office Facebook page, one of Miele’s bags washed up on the bank of Lopez River on Sunday, February 2nd, four days past his due backdate. The Park rangers who found the bag founded Miele’s wallet and phone inside and asked the CCSO to help with the search.
Deputies use Miele’s phone to find his most recent coordinates logged on Jan. 31. Their Aviation Unit then began a targeted search of the area.
In the video, you see Mark Miele floating in the open water hardly able to move until rescuers pull him into their boat.
The CCSO posted an update from Miele’s family who asked the media to refrain from contacting them directly.
“Mark is recovering and is stable. We thank the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and all of the search rangers, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. We couldn’t have worked with a more wonderful, caring, kind, and straightforward group of people. It’s a miracle he’s alive and in the condition he is in. We would also like to thank the professionals at Physicians Regional Hospital (Collier Boulevard) for their competency and caring ways.”