Boater Found After Treading Water for Hours

AUGUST 7, 2006

-- A man was left treading water for six hours Saturday after he fell off his boat a couple dozen miles off Masonboro Island.

Steven Bright, 55, is now recovering from exhaustion and dehydration. The Coast Guard rescued Bright Saturday afternoon after he spent six hours swimming in the open ocean without a lifejacket.

He was fishing when he somehow fell overboard. His boat was on autopilot so he couldn't catch up and climb back on board.

A pleasure boater spotted Bright and radioed the Coast Guard, who picked him up and took him to shore. Bright says at least half a dozen boats passed without seeing him before a boater spotted him.

Reported by Dan Cassuto