ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A 22-year-old man was rescued after he spent “nearly 8 hours” in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Station in St. Petersburg.
U.S. Coast Guard crews stated that they were dispatched near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge around midnight after they received calls about a person spotted in the water near the bridge.
According to officials, the U.S. Coast Guard along with the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue continued searching for the 22-year-old until about 4:30 a.m., when crews spotted him in the water near Egmont Key.
As crews worked diligently to rescue him, the Coast Guard stated that he was dragged into the Gulf by a barge and had been in the gulf for nearly eight hours.
Authorities said the man was “alert and conscious” after he was rescued and was taken back to the Coast Guard station to meet with EMS before being taken to a nearby hospital.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast Facebook page, the 22-year-old is reportedly in stable condition.
“Our crew was able to rescue this person from the water thanks to our quick response and joint agency efforts,” Petty Officer Third Class Justin Swaim said in a statement. “All of the assets on scene responded with extreme professionalism during the rescue efforts and ultimately resulting in a life being saved.”