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Kayakers in SWFL should have an EPIRB device for faster recovery if lost

A Collier County kayaker, who was found alive after he endured five days alone in cold water and during a storm, is still recovering on Wednesday evening. But the unfortunate incident has many people asking how to stay safe while kayaking.

Kayaker Mark Miele was cold, wet and hanging onto life. He was found alive in the Everglades after he was missing for five days. The hospital said Miele is in good condition. Captain Ed Hogan said he frequently boats those waters and a smartphone would not have helped the victim.

“I’m sure he was cold for all those days, but your sense of survival kicks in and you want to try to get home,” Hogan said. “Where he was, he probably didn’t have too much signal there.”

An emergency position indicating radio beacon would have changed the story. Hogan said with an EPIRB, Miele would have been found within an hour after giving it an instant push of a button. The device is designed to send signals to a satellite, which lets crews reliably find your location within a perimeter of 25 feet.

Hogan said it is worth the investment. The product costs over $300.

“What’s your safety worth at the end of the day?” Hogan said.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
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