Citrus County man rescued from the Gulf speaks out - WFLA News Channel 8

Citrus County man rescued from the Gulf speaks out

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CRYSTAL RIVER, FL (WFLA) -

The man who spent nearly 24 hours treading water near Crystal River, after choppy waters flipped him out of his sixteen foot long boat met the media at Seven River Medical Center in Crystal River on Friday, a day after being rescued in the Gulf of Mexico.

Efstathios "Steve" Moumouris said he was reaching for a life vest when he was flipped out of the boat.

Moumouris, 51,  said, "All of a sudden the boat was bouncing up and down and it went laterally over, and within a split second I was in the water."

Moumouris says he was several miles from shore, in the water with no life vest.

He says during his ordeal, his biggest fear was drowning.

"I didn't know how it was going to turn out, and thankfully it turned out well," said Moumouris.

As night fell, Moumouris says a shrimp boat passed within a hundred yards of him, he yelled, but they didn't hear him.

The next day, he saw a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in the distance looking for him.

But it was a family scalloping, who spotted him in the water

Moumouris said, "I started yelling for them and they said we see you buddy hang on we'll be there, and they took great care of me."

Moumouris says he never gave up hope he'd be rescued, always keeping his wife and family in his thoughts.

His wife Anastasia said, "Just grateful for everything, I think the prayers brought him home, I really believe it was a miracle, it could have turned out so much worse."

His doctors say he still has some recovering to do, before he'll head home.

Doctor Maryanne Kolar with Seven Rivers Medical Center said, "He still has some chemical abnormalities in his system as a result of the muscle exertion that he suffered and dehydration from the exposure so he needs some continued hydration, but we anticipate that will all normalize."

Moumouris is expected to spend Friday night at Seven Rivers Medical Center before being released.

Asked if he'll go fishing again he says yes, but his wife says he won't ever go fishing alone again.

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