Lost man's washed-up phone helps save him from alligator-infested waters

Lost man's washed-up phone helps save him from alligator-infested waters

A Virginia man who seemingly disappeared during a kayaking trip was found in alligator-infested waters where he had been stranded for days, Mirror Online reports.

Mark Miele, 67, went on a solo kayaking trip in Everglades National Park on January 22, according to the Collier County Sheriff's Office (CCSO).

This is the incredible moment a man missing in alligator-infested waters is found alive:

Miele was due back from his trip a week later but failed to return. On Sunday, February 2, his bag including his wallet and phone washed up on the bank of the Lopez River, allowing authorities to download the data on his phone.

It was then that "deputies found his most recent coordinates logged on Jan. 31 and our Aviation Unit began a targeted search of the area," the CCSO writes on Facebook.

"Shortly before noon on Monday, the Aviation Unit located Mark and guided our Marine Unit, alongside NPS and FWC officers, to his location, a few miles from where his belongings were found."

The CCSO also revealed that Mark was now safe and being treated by medical staff at Physicians Regional Hospital on Collier Blvd.

In a post shared to Facebook, the CCSO gave the following update on Miele's condition:

"Mark Miele is recuperating in the hospital in stable condition today after being rescued in the Everglades on Monday.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputies, in conjunction with the National Park Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, located the 67-year-old Virginia man after he embarked on a solo kayaking trip in Everglades National Park on Jan. 22 and didn’t return Jan. 29 as scheduled. His belongings were found in the Lopez River on Sunday evening.

His family is grateful to have him back safe. They asked us to release the following statement on their behalf. They requested the media refrain from contacting them directly: “Mark is recovering and is stable. We thank the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service and all of the search rangers, and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. We couldn’t have worked with a more wonderful, caring, kind, and straightforward group of people. It’s a miracle he’s alive and in the condition he is in. We would also like to thank the professionals at Physicians Regional Hospital (Collier Boulevard) for their competency and caring ways.”