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Local Fisherman Saves 3 in Fatal Boat Accident Near St. Lucie Inlet
VIDEO: 72-year-old Port Salerno resident is a hero

Posted Sunday, January 20, 2013

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John Summers, 72, was out fishing for Mackerel on Saturday morning and wound up catching more than just fish.

According to reports from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Summers was heading back into the inlet when he saw a body floating in the water. He heard cries for help and did what he said, "any fisherman would do."

Battling 10-foot swells and relentless rain, Summers rescued three commercial fishermen who were onboard their vessel when it capsized near the inlet. A fourth fisherman on board, Fransico Rodriguez, 60, from Belle Glade, was found floating in the water, deceased.

According to a report by WPTV News Channel 5, Summers went from each person. He used his floatation on his boat, saving one life at a time while risking his own.

"Just get the job done. That shook me up because I was just five minutes too late," Summers is quoted in the WPTV article.

The article goes on to say that Rodriguez was already dead, according to investigators, by the time Summers appeared. The three others who were in the boat though were all rescued to safety.

"I guess it was just that I wish I would have saved all of them," said Summers in the WPTV article.

FWC said had it not been for a local fisherman in the area, the three men who were saved might not have made it to shore.

A notice to all boaters in the area: the FWC says that the boat is still stuck on a sandbar, as they were unable to tow the vessel to shore on Saturday. Investigators said they will try to reach it on Sunday if the weather improves.

See the news video of the incident and interview with Summers below:

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