Florida man falls overboard; floats in Gulf of Mexico for more than 20 hours

Posted at 10:19 AM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 10:17:31-04

CLEARWATER, FL - We all know fishing can be a dangerous sport, but one Florida man's day on the water was nearly his last.

William Durden, 61, was fishing by himself on the Homosassa River, north of Clearwater, when he fell overboard without a life jacket on. He floated in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 20 hours.

While in the water Durden says, "I went through different phases. First couple of hours [I thought] 'I'll find somebody to wave down. Get on someone's boat.' Then sundown comes and, well, I have to plan for night time now. I was just praying no shark would come up and decide to have me for dinner."

Maybe it was his Navy training or his prayers but amazingly, after a two-hour search, the U.S. Coast Guard showed up before Durden became fish food.