Rob Konrad used to be the fullback for the Miami Dolphins. He was drafted to the NFL team in 1999 and was then traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in 2005. But did you know how he had to face a life and death situation during a boating accident in 2015?
Rob Konrad, who was 38 at the time, tried to reel in a fish when a wave knocked him overboard. He tried to swim back to the boat, but the autopilot made it difficult for him to catch up so he swam for 16 hours until he reached the shore.
How Did The Incident Happen?
It was 12:30 PM and Rob Konrad’s boat was traveling eastbound on autopilot. There were no other boats in sight, and he was leisurely on deck without a life jacket. Konrad confidently explained how he had owned and operated boats all his life, but he was never prepared for the events that were about to transpire that faithful afternoon.
While trying to reel in his catch, Konrad fell overboard and couldn’t catch up to his boat that was sailing on autopilot. Truly one of the worst nightmares any seasoned sailor would have to face. All he could think of at this point was swimming to shore.
He caught a glimpse of the Coast Guard helicopters dispatched to find him as soon as he was reported missing, but unfortunately, it was a difficult task especially when he was in the water, nearing dark. The high waves and the darkness made it incredibly difficult for rescuers to get to him, in addition, Konrad was already fearing what could be lurking in the depths of the sea. He was repeatedly stung by jellyfish and even recalled seeing a shark circle in on him at the time.
After 10 hours, the fishing boat had lights on and was 50 yards away. When the boat didn’t see me, I had to get my mind right.Rob Konrad
At this point, his only choice was to swim to the closest shoreline. He arrived at West Palm Beach at around 4:30 am the next day, which meant he was swimming for about 16 hours straight. As soon as he reached shore, he was taken to the hospital and treated for hypothermia, dehydration, and rhabdomyolysis.
Although several people questioned Konrad’s story, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the issue and claimed that he was indeed telling the truth. His boat was later on discovered near Dead Man’s Reef in the Grand Bahamas, which was about 90 miles away from where he swam to, and sustained damages that are estimated at $70,000. (Source: CNN)
What was Rob Konrad’s Driving Force to Survive?
Konrad decided to swim to shore, even though he estimated the journey would take more than 10 hours, and feared succumbing to hypothermia or cramping after two or three hours. In the low 70s, the water temperature was not particularly cold but somewhat cooler than his body temperature.
As a result, Konrad decided to keep moving. He undressed and began swimming in a breaststroke and backstroke pattern. He also picked out locations and saw lights along the coast. He acquired emotional power even as he grew exhausted.
I have two beautiful daughters, I was hitting that shore.Rob Konrad
Konrad made the statement while reminiscing on how he had survived an incredible ordeal at sea a few days prior following a catastrophe on his boat off the coast of Florida.
It was a miracle he made it home, He had two angels on his back.Tammy Konrad, Rob Konrad’s Wife