(CNN) — A family in Florida had their prayers answered, as a man who’d been missing for nearly a week is found.
Dannielle Garcia reports that for five anxious days the family of, Mark Miele’s, 67, hoped and prayed.
He didn’t return from a solo kayaking trip as scheduled last Wednesday.
Anxious hours turned into days then late this morning The Collier County Aviation Unit spotted Miele in The Lopez River dehydrated and hypothermic, but alive.
“First concern when we found him, it didn’t look like he was moving, and we didn’t know if it was going to be a recovery or a rescue,” said Corporal Ed Henderson.
Corporal Ed Henderson, the pilot who spotted the missing kayaker, says Miele was floating on top of his life jacket in the middle of the river, making it easier for rescuers to see him.
Henderson said a few hours more, and they might have been too late.
“Turns out when I talk to a guy after the fact that was on scene he goes no he was convulsing keep it in the water for two solid days, and it’s been really cold,” said Henderson.
The break in the search came Sunday when park rangers found Miele’s bag with his wallet and phone.
Collier County technicians used the phone to track his most recent location then began a targeted search, and those hours meant the difference between life and death.
“Coming back and watching the video and seeing the expression on his face and holding the rescuer’s hand, that was just yeah,” said Henderson.