NewsPinellas County


Fisherman falls over the Skyway Pier, see photos of rescue

Witnesses said he made one common mistake
Posted at 9:22 PM, Dec 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 09:56:37-05

First responders rush to the rescue as a fisherman falls over the Skyway Fishing Pier.
The waters are choppy and the sky is cloudy. The fishing rods are lined up along the North Skyway Pier. But in seconds, a bite on the line ends in an emergency.

"It was all very windy," said Braso Resdovic, a maintenance worker. "Fish take bait, guy goes here and here and down!" he gestures.

He says the fisherman was climbing onto a concrete wall. The man was leaning his feet along the wall fighting to reel in his fish when suddenly he lost his balance and fell straight into the bay. Resdovic immediately runs into the bait shop for help. Pier manager, Michael McGrath comes out and in his hand is one item to save the man's life.

"I saw a gentleman in the water looking pretty--pretty scared," he said of the moments. One of them chucked a lifesaver into the water.
As McGrath dials 911, Resdovic snaps a couple of pictures. In them you can see the frightened fisherman clinging onto the lifesaver. Resdovic starts talking to him while waiting

"'Ok no problem, just a little cold water. That's ok. No panic, no,'" he tells the man to help calm him.

Within 10 minutes first responders drag him onto their boat and take the fisherman back to dry land. Amazingly, he's not hurt.

"He's very lucky the current wasn't moving really fast or the water wasn't much colder," said McGrath.

Resdovic says this is really a valuable lesson to us all. Brown signs along the wall read: "For your safety do not climb on or over barrier wall."

"I don't want to be a next---no more next time. Once was enough!" said McGrath.