Miami Dolphins

Florida boating authority: Rob Konrad’s overboard story checks out

Former Miami Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad listens while his wife Tammy speaks during a news conference where he told about his ordeal of swimming nine miles to shore after he fell off his boat while fishing off the South Florida coast, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.
Former Miami Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad listens while his wife Tammy speaks during a news conference where he told about his ordeal of swimming nine miles to shore after he fell off his boat while fishing off the South Florida coast, Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. AP

When former Dolphins fullback Rob Konrad last month described his harrowing experience of falling off a boat off the Palm Beach coast, swimming 16 hours to safety and ending up 27 miles from where he plunged into the water, some skeptics — including a nationally prominent website — questioned whether that was possible.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued an affirmation of his account on Wednesday, saying Konrad’s story checked out after a full review and that no charges or violations will be issued.

According to the review, Konrad departed from Hillsboro Inlet on the morning of Jan. 7, “spent some time fishing and set his auto pilot on an easterly track at approximately five miles per hour. After two hours of fishing, which covered approximately nine miles of easterly progress, Mr. Konrad was thrown overboard when a wave hit the side of the vessel.”

Konrad “initially tried to swim back to the boat but was unable to catch up to it. He then altered his plan and decided to swim west, toward the sun and the shore.”

As Konrad stated, the report said he reached shore at 4:42 a.m. on Jan. 8, off South Ocean Boulevard in West Palm Beach, and contacted the Palm Beach Police Department. He was transported to the Good Samaritan Hospital, where he spent three days and received treatment for hypothermia and dehydration. Konrad also suffered from rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown in muscle fibers.

Konrad’s vessel, a 30-foot fiberglass motorboat, was discovered Jan. 9 in the Grand Bahamas around Dead Man’s Reef. It was returned to Riviera Beach in late January and was estimated to have sustained $70,000 in damage.

“I shouldn’t be here,” Konrad said five days after the incident. “I have operated and owned boats my whole life, and I ended up in a boater’s nightmare.”

Konrad, 38, works as a financial advisor.

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