Virginia man found floating in waters of Florida Everglades days after being reported missing


NAPLES, Fla. (WAVY) — A Williamsburg man was found alive in the Florida Everglades, floating in the water without his kayak, nearly two weeks after embarking on a solo trip in the massive national park known for its exotic wildlife, most notably alligators.

Mark Miele was spotted Monday by a Collier County Sheriff’s Office helicopter and rescued. The 67-year-old was found just before noon, face-up in the water, supported by only his life preserver.

Mark Miele (Photo via Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

Search crews were able to locate him after finding his cell phone Sunday night inside a bag that washed ashore on the bank of the Lopez River. Authorities were able to download his most recent coordinates from January 31, and found him a few miles from that location.

The search for Miele began on January 29, the day he was due to return after embarking a week earlier.

The sheriff’s office says Miele is being treated by medical staff at Physicians Regional Hospital in Naples, Florida. His condition is still unknown.

It’s still unclear when exactly Miele lost his kayak, and how long he was submerged in the water. Authorities have yet to release additional details in the case, but one rescuer told the Miami Herald that Miele might have had hypothermia.

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