Former Miami Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad may have found his second calling: open water swimming.
On Wednesday night, Konrad took his boat out into the Atlantic Ocean for some solo-fishing. After falling overboard and unsuccessfully trying to re-board his auto-piloted boat, the ex-NFL player swam nine miles to shore without a life jacket. He spent about 10 hours in waters known for high levels of shark attacks.
According to the Associated Press, friends grew worried when Konrad missed their dinner plans. After contacting authorities, the US Coast Guard sent out a search and rescue helicopter to locate him. Konrad reportedly saw the searchlights, but the spotters were unable to see him in the choppy waters. He had to keep swimming.
Upon reaching Palm Beach, after a nine-mile, 10-hour swim, Konrad contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office from a nearby oceanfront mansion. Authorities arrived at the beach, where Konrad was found barefoot, clad only in his underwear at 4:40 a.m. on Thursday. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for signs of hypothermia.
“He was lucky he was able to swim nine miles throughout the night in the dark in the frigid waters,” Syracuse.com quoted Coast Guard public affairs specialist Mark Barney. “He was pretty exhausted.”
Other details of the incident include that on Wednesday night, Konrad was dropped off alone at Boca Raton, where he planned to take his 36-foot boat up Florida’s Atlantic coast to Lake Worth for a night of fishing. In the process of trying to land a hooked fish, he fell overboard.
Thankfully, Konrad possessed the fortitude for a long, cold night’s swim. He has been released from the hospital and the Coast Guard reported he is okay. He has reportedly declined to speak with media about the situation.
Konrad played four years of college football at Syracuse, and was then drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1999. He played six NFL seasons, and was released in March 2005. He now resides in Boynton Beach, where he operates a financial consulting business.