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Rescuers go to aid boater stranded 22 hours off Pasco

HUDSON — Rick Smith and Joseph Merten had just dropped anchor when their 22-hour-long trouble began.

Smith, a 68-year-old Hudson resident, was out on his boat with his friend when the weather started looking apocalyptic.

They came in and anchored the 1982 Scorpion cabin boat, but the anchor broke, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

The boat drifted two miles off shore. They were out of gas. They had no cell phone.

Merten swam back to shore and clambered through mangroves for help, leaving Smith on the boat, the sheriff's office said.

He waited 12 hours for his friend to return.

Smith was picked up about 11 a.m. Tuesday, the sheriff's office said. He didn't need medical attention.

Rescuers go to aid boater stranded 22 hours off Pasco 02/27/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 1:56pm]

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