- "This is incredible he's alive," Coast Guard officer says
- Efstathios Moumouris went missing during a fishing trip
- Good Samaritans found him just off the coast of Citrus County, Florida
- Moumouris' 16-foot boat was found nine miles from Fort Island boat ramp
It's a fishing trip that could have had a very different ending.
Efstathios "Steve" Moumouris' wife had fitting words shortly after the Florida man was rescued from the Gulf of Mexico, where he had treaded water for nearly 24 hours.
"Elated, elated. There are no words to describe it," Anastasia Moumouris told CNN Tampa affiliate WTSP. "I said if anybody can make it, it would be him."
The dehydrated Moumouris, 51, was spotted by good Samaritans who were out fishing for scallops off of Crystal River in Citrus County. He was about eight miles southwest of a boat ramp.
"We got him on board and he was fairly coherent," said Todd Hoy.
Moumouris had texted his wife Wednesday afternoon to tell her he was heading in, according to WTSP. He was not heard from again, and she contacted authorities.
Moumouris' 16-foot boat earlier Thursday was found unattended nine miles from the Fort Island boat ramp.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office said a storm tossed Moumouris from his vessel. He was unable to reach a life jacket.
Moumouris saw a search helicopter overnight and was unable to get the attention of a shrimp boat that got within 100 yards of his position, said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma of the U.S. Coast Guard.
"This is incredible he's alive," Somma said.
The fisherman was expected to spend the night in a local hospital while he recovers from dehydration, WTSP reported.