Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

Woman treads water for 13 hours in Gulf of Mexico

Woman Survives Treading Water 13 Hours In Gulf Of Mexico

A week ago, Dora Steed got separated from her husband and their boat while diving for scallops in the Gulf of Mexico, and she was forced to tread water for almost 13 hours before she was rescued. She spoke to ABC: "There's no other boats out there, um it's thundering and the skies are dark."

WTSP reports while snorkeling, the Steeds' boat drifted away. Dora's husband, Larry, swam off in search of it, and when he finally returned with the boat to the spot where he'd left Dora, she was nowhere to be found.

ABC says Larry frantically called 911 while he was still out searching the water for his wife. Rescue crews immediately responded, but were called back after a few hours of fruitless searching because of storms in the area.

But Dora was resourceful, and found a way to keep herself upright in the water throughout the night. "I saw a piece of PVC pipe sticking up out of the water. I literally put my legs around the pole and my arms around the pole and just hung on."

Captain Ernie Croft was part of the search and rescue team the previous day, but decided to go out searching on his own for Dora the next morning.

WTVT reports he thought the water had drifted her all the way over to Green Key Island, a place the search and rescue team wasn't looking. It's about a mile and a half away from where Larry reported Dora missing. He was right.

"She was in good spirits. She was not cold. She had a smile on her face. She was just thirsty. If she hadn't had found that PVC pipe out there, she probably wouldn't have made it."

WFLA says Dora was immediately taken to a local hospital to rest and be treated for dehydration.

My Fox Hurricane says water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are relatively high during the summer months, so thankfully Dora didn't have to worry about catching hypothermia.

Dora told ABC she did suffer some jellyfish stings, but she was only ever afraid of the lighting during those 13 hours alone in the water. Miraculously, though, when she was rescued, Dora was still holding onto her bag of scallops.

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
alspoolhall July 13 2014 at 5:51 AM

Dora is lucky that Captain Ernie knew how the current would go and knew where to look for her even though those who SHOULD know, didn't! Good job Captain Ernie and thank you for getting up early and going out by yourself to look for Dora! You are a man with the courage of your convictions . . . oh yeah!

Flag Reply +22 rate up
1 reply
wildlifeartistkc alspoolhall July 13 2014 at 11:53 AM

Yes thank you Captain Ernie!!!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
vivianlwood July 13 2014 at 8:10 AM

"Catching" hypothermia? Does aol think that hypothermia is contagious?

Flag Reply +15 rate up
4 replies
Thomas Watkins July 13 2014 at 8:02 AM

So they went out in what can only be descibed as a john boat......during a storm.......they don't anchor the boat......they don't dive together so they get separated........he doesn't have a VHF on the boat and no GPS........he leaves his wife rather than look for her........she holds on to a peice of pipe doesn't really tread water and doesn't let go of the bag of scallops..........the only amazing thing here is that most of the people here commend these idiots and not chastize them.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
6 replies
jim1392 July 13 2014 at 6:35 AM

Sorry, hanging onto a pipe is not treading water. Just another bad headline or little or no research into what you put in print.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
5 replies
dal July 13 2014 at 7:34 AM

I would had never left my wife alone in open water like that, if he swam off to find the boat? why did he not get his wife to go with him? She couldn't have been underwater for more than two minutes. Thank god for litter at sea this woman might not be here today. But when diving with others you need to stay in sight and contact at all times for safety reason.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
Genesis dal July 13 2014 at 8:35 PM

Hey you should capitalize the name of our deity: goD

Flag Reply 0 rate up
reevesj32 July 13 2014 at 7:18 AM

Rule number one... eh, ah, oh yes... anchor the boat dumba$$!

Flag Reply +9 rate up
larry July 13 2014 at 11:53 AM

Woman treaded water for 13 hours ??? Many American have treaded water for the last 6 years since Obama has been in the white house, just to make ends meet. 2016 cannot get here soon enough.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
7 replies
Mike July 13 2014 at 10:54 AM

All this because she was too cheap to buy her own scallops.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
hammermito Mike July 13 2014 at 2:21 PM

Ok. This comment made me Lol. Good call.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
msglinguist July 13 2014 at 9:23 AM

One treads water and in the past one tread water. Treaded is not a word. Use spell check HP! Amateur journalism at its best...

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Carl July 13 2014 at 8:18 AM

Sounds like another BS story to me. Pipe sticking out of the water? She drifted? She hung onto her bag of Scallops? I ain't buyin it!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
tbbucs56 Carl July 13 2014 at 11:59 AM

I live on the gulf,you can drift,the currents pull you away.Now this PVC pipe sticking out of the water,thats big enough to put your legs around I dont know about.Some crab fishermen use them to mark their traps,but its the smallest pipe you can find.Maybe a channel mark she was wrapped around

Flag Reply +2 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners