Man Swims 5 Hours: John Franklin Riggs Saves Family After Boat Capsizes

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 12, 2013 5:09 PM EDT

water
A man swam for 5 hours for help after choppy water caused the capsizing of his family's boat. (Photo: Flickr: clearlyambiguous)

A Maryland man swam for 5 hours to save his family after their fishing boat capsized on Tuesday, while his family clung onto the boat for their lives, near Deal Island, Md.

Like Us on Facebook

John Franklin Riggs, 46, swam for miles, leaving his sister Contessa Riggs, 43, father John Riggs, 70, Contessa's 3-year-old son, and a 9-year-old niece at the mercy of stinging jellyfish. After swimming for 5 hours, John Franklin Riggs reached a rocky shore, climbing the rocks in total darkness to get help.

Once ashore, Riggs ran up to the first house he saw.

"He came to the right house," said Angela Byrd, who was awoken by her dog barking at 1:00 A.M. "He said, 'I've been swimming since sundown; I need help.'"

Byrd called the Fire Chief Donald Ford, of Deal Island, and 911. Firefighter volunteers then took a rescue boat with Riggs back to his family. 

"There were a few storms in the area, and the boat turned upside down," said Sergeant Brian Albert of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. "Mr. Riggs swam to shore. These people are very lucky. No one was injured."

A police helicopter shined a light on the capsized fishing boat, and along with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and firefighters from three towns, the Riggs party was rescued. Aside from some cuts and jellyfish stings, they were unharmed.

"It is lucky they put life jackets on," Albert said. "The life jackets are what saved their lives."

Emily, Riggs's 9-year-old niece, said her uncle was "a real hero" and that she'd only go fishing with her family again "if the water is really shallow."

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)