Man treads water in Gulf of Mexico for 22 hours, saved by Good Samaritans

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. - It's an amazing story of survival out of Citrus County, where a man is rescued from the Gulf after floating without a life jacket for nearly a day.

He is recovering and his family is beyond grateful.

In many of these cases, the end means the worst. But a much happier story unfolded.

"I don't know what else to say. It's a miracle, it really is," said Steve Mourouris' wife, Anastasia.

After hours of waiting, the distraught wife received an unbelievable call..

Steve was alive.

"I still don't know where he ended up," Anastasia said.

Steve was fishing alone in the Gulf on Wednesday when he fell overboard without a life jacket.

"He went to grab the life vest and the boat flew away from him so fast he couldn't catch up with it," Anastasia said.

He treaded water through the night.  Then, at 1 a.m. Thursday, he saw a shrimp boat and thought he was about to saved.

"He got hundred yards from it and they pulled up and left.   And he swam, and he was just floating," she said.

Night turned into day and the search went on by water and air.

Todd Hoy and his family were out scalloping. They knew a boater was missing and were on the lookout for Steve too.

"i was driving and Danny was up front with me and we just looked and said what is that? We weren't sure so we headed that way, " Hoy said.

It was Steve, 22 hours after he went in the water.  Within minutes he was back on shore, weak and dehydrated, but alive.

"Don't you ever do that to me again," said family friend Larry Huffman.  "He might as well be a brother and I knew if anyone could do it, he could do it. These stories don't normally end like this."

Steve was taken to a local hospital where he's expected to be okay.

He and his wife are restaurant owners in Lake County.

Asked if she'll let her husband fish alone anymore, she said "no way."

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