Football player who swam 9 miles in the ocean

AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
edited January 2015 in General Discussion
First 2015 nomination for Swim of the Year?
Bet there are issues with his documentation... bet he didn't even have an Observer.

Ex-NFL player swims nine miles to shore

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former Miami Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad swam nine miles back to shore after falling off his boat while fishing off the South Florida coast.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that Konrad had gone fishing alone Wednesday after being dropped off at a Boca Raton dock. Friends became concerned after he didn't meet them for dinner, and the Coast Guard later sent a helicopter to look for him.

The Coast Guard said Konrad apparently fell off the 36-foot boat, which had been on auto pilot. Unable to get back to the boat, Konrad began swimming toward shore. He made it some time after 4 a.m. Thursday and contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Officials say the 38-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for possible hypothermia.

After playing four years at Syracuse, Konrad was drafted by the Dolphins in 1999 and played for the team until 2004.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • andissandiss Senior Member
    Autopilot is ok - but he should been hooked up to a Dead man's switch or something
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    I'm impressed that he made it. That's a long swim in the dark, with no feeds, for a football player.

    I think he only qualifies for a Darwin honorable mention, since he survived. ;)

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Swimmer18Swimmer18 PennsylvaniaMember
    My guess is - he was not wearing approved attire.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    I was wondering if he was wearing a PFD. Imagine the chafing, swimming that distance wearing a lifejacket.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    He might have played for Syracuse, but he was also--wait for it--a Dolphin! (Wish I could take credit for that one, came from a friend of a friend on Favebook, and now that I know she can pull out groaners like that, I want to be her friend too.)

    I've had several people ask whether this is even possible. Certainly is within the realm of possibility, but something sounds fishy about it.

    Stop me if you've heard this one...
    A grasshopper walks into a bar...

  • NoelFigartNoelFigart Lebanon, NHSenior Member
    I'd love to hear more details, myself. While it is certainly POSSIBLE, I think this also falls into "insanely lucky" if he did what was claimed.

    I'm dubious unless he has a swimming background.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    Maybe he caught a strong favorable current. :))
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    The article I read said he was in the water for 10-12 hours. Sculling on his back and/or head-high breaststroke with a favorable current could've taken him 9 miles in that amount of time. Or maybe he's a decent swimmer. Luck certainly played into it. Lots of unfortunate things could've happened.

    We do need more details. Maybe the boat has GPS with a record of where it was and when. The article didn't say anything about if/when/where the boat was recovered.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Kevin_in_MDKevin_in_MD Senior Member
    I've stated that you have a guy who took off by himself on a 36 foot yacht to go fishing, falls out of the boat as it is on cruise control, turns up early the next morning on the beach having swum there from his boat 9 miles offshore. The boat is later found, the guy takes a couple of days to get his story together and have a press conference.

    I'm pretty sure I read a detective novel that involved Legitimate Businessmen that started this way :-)

    From a swimming perspective, the gulf stream seems to either make the story plausible or implausible. If he fell in a mile or so offshore, it is conceivable that the current could have carried him many miles north before he reached shore. Making the 9 miles seem reasonable. On the other hand if he was 9 miles offshore as the crow flies, and swam across the gulf stream to hit shore, well that's kinda more hard to believe.

    Though who knows, maybe he's a swimmer.

    Press conference today apparently.
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2015
    Next thing you know he'll have a Broadway musical
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    evmo wrote: »
    Next thing you know he'll have a Broadway musical

    That just gave me a hilarious visual.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • ttriventtriven Senior Member
    He has had a press conference. He said "I think I ended up traveling 27 miles."
  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember
    He was fishing offshore Boca Raton and landed in Palm Beach, which are 27 miles apart.

    Among the interesting maps here: is this one showing the trajectories of near-surface drifters in the Florida Current.
    Estimating nine miles offshore would put one in a general area where a few of the trajectories would carry one both North and closer to shore simultaneously.
    This map shows velocity.
    If I did the math correctly 27 miles in 16 hours works out to 75 cm/sec which is just what this map shows in that area.

    So maybe it did happen. Seems more likely than letting your boat drive itself to the Bahamas and then crawling onto shore in your underwear in a condition that leads to hospitalization for any other reason. There are easier ways to get on the News.
  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember
    They're not actually current maps, they are trajectories of near surface drifters, so movements of objects in the currents. And if you look at the trajectories in the area between Cuba and the Keys there are in fact a number that move largely South to North, not that I have any wish whatsoever to re-open that particular can of worms.

    Another fascinating (to me anyway) map is this one showing trajectories that passed through the red square on the first map.
    Not particularity pertinent to anything here, but kinda cool. A stick off the coast of Venezuela could, after visiting Haiti and Belize, end up pretty much anywhere in the NW Atlantic.
  • gregocgregoc Charter Member
    I agree with @Niek. This could have happened, I disagree with the reports that he swam 9-miles though. The papers should be reporting that he drifted 27-miles north for 16 hours until he hit land around West Palm Beach. Still, surviving 16-hours in 65 degree water without food or water is amazing.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2015
    Greetings to all the readers coming over from Deadspin.

    To the reporter from the Miami Herald who left me a voicemail yesterday, if you're reading this, here's my quote:

    It is more believable that Rob Konrad fell off a boat and swam to shore, than that Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida.
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    edited January 2015
    "malinaka wrote:

    @malinaka I think it is completely appropriate that they sought her expert opinion.

    “It’s an incredible story,” .... ....Diana Nyad said.

    She is an expert in telling incredible stories.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    Will DN be in the musical too?

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited January 2015
  • I was certainly dubious last week, but can state now that I certainly believe this happened pretty much as Rob Konrad remembers. I understand the several safety factors that were ignored and perhaps he is a bit embarrassed that he could be so callous, but I have talked to some people who know him and believe him to be a man of integrity. Clearly the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive can yield incredible strength.

    "Life has but one thing to offer... experience"
    ~ Bob Mattson

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    Well said, Sid.
  • Kevin_in_MDKevin_in_MD Senior Member
    Yeah, 9 miles offshore and in swimming across the gulf stream he was dragged 27 miles north in the process, that makes sense.

    Covering 0.5ish miles per hour while breaststroking and backstroking for a non-swimmer also makes sense.
  • danswimsdanswims Portland, ORMember

    Hypothermia is certainly possible at 21 C, particularly with 16 hour of immersion for someone not adapted to it.
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    70 is warm when one is swimming. I could see hypothermia setting in for someone unaccustomed to open water, especially if he was mostly floating along for 10 or more hours at night and the wind was blowing.

    Now that I think about it, last summer I saw a triathlete swim a 3K in 70 degree water without a wetsuit. She was really c-c-cold afterward. I felt a little bit bad for having told her that 70 was pretty warm before the start.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    Not sure that anyone will care, but I would like to apologize (to Rob Konrad, his family, everyone) for starting this forum subject dialogue with jokes. At the time of the first post, I did not realize what a serious situation it had been. I am disappointed in myself and I am sorry for making light of a life and death situation.
  • IronMikeIronMike Northern VirginiaCharter Member
    And now anyone can swim with him at this resort!

    We're all just carbon, water, starlight, oxygen and dreams

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