Former NFL player survives 16 hour swim in Atlantic

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POMPANO BEACH, Fla -- A former NFL player managed to survive from swimming in the ocean for about 16 hours.

Rob Konrad, 38, played for the Miami Dolphins for five seasons.

He held a news conference to tell how he wound up swimming for his life while avoiding sharks and being stung by jellyfish.

Konrad was fishing alone in his 36-foot Grady White boat, nine miles into the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday.

The boat was moving on autopilot, when a wave crashed into it and Konrad fell overboard.

When he looked up, the boat was on its way toward the Bahamas.

He was alone in the water, without a life vest, but he decided that he had to try to swim for his life.

"I've got two beautiful daughters," he said, his eyes watering. "I was hitting shore."

He alternated between breast stroke and backstroke, as he swam west.

“Got bit by a whole bunch of stuff, bit by Jellyfish. Right when the sun was going down I was circled by a shark,” said Konrad. “There was a lot of stuff glowing (laughs) at night. I don't know what it was exactly to be honest with you but probably some of those jellyfish and some other things that you know were biting."

"I prayed to God to send a boat, or the Coast Guard to come get me… after some time I just said, look, I'm not dying tonight. I'm going to make it to shore," he said.

Konrad said he saw a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter fly above him, but he wasn’t rescued.

"That was a difficult time. I realized at that point in time ... I was on my own."

At around 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Konrad said he made it to Palm Beach.

He said he shivered uncontrollably so he curled into a ball and tried to warm himself up.

He eventually made it to a home, where a security guard called police.

Konrad spent four days in the hospital, being treated for hypothermia, severe dehydration, and the breakdown of muscle tissue.


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