August 27th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Fisherman Treads Water For Day: "I Had the Will to Survive"

A 51-year old Florida fisherman falls overboard his 16 foot boat, treads water without a life vest for nearly 24 hours, and lives to tell about it.

Steve Moumouris is thankful to be alive, reports CNN's Kate Bouldan. 

After fishing all day, Mourmouris texted his wife a picture of his catch and said he'd be home shortly. When his boat surfaced nine miles from the boat ramp without him,  his wife Anastasia, who goes by Sia, called authorities.

A family out scallop fishing found the tenacious man floundering in the Gulf of Mexico.

Moumouris and his wife spoke on "New Day" on Tuesday.  The fisherman talked about his determination to keep going hour after hour.

"I told myself, you have about half an hour to live. When you do it in the pool, it's real hard to tread water, but I decided, I said you have to make a plan and stick with it. I told god he'd have to pull me down by the heel if he wanted to take me. I had the will to survive."

Sia describes the moment she got the phone call that her husband was alive.

"I get it from the lady that has rescued him and she says, he told us to call you, he's alive. That's all I needed to hear. It wasn't the authorities so he was coherent enough to remember the number. I thought 'glory be to god.' We all witnessed a miracle that day."

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