Ex-NFL Player Swims to Survival
We all know that NFL players are some of the toughest people in our country, but this next story is flat-out unbelievable. Rob Konrad, who spent more than 6 seasons in the NFL at the Fullback position, was subjected to spending more than 16 hours stranded in the Atlantic Ocean, more than 9 miles from the South Florida coastline.
The story all began when Rob was spending time in his boat earlier this week and unexpectedly was launched into the sea. Before long, he was alone and quite a distance away from his boat that he could no longer locate. At this point, Mr. Konrad was faced with making one of two possible decisions; one, he could tread water and hope for help to arrive, or he could begin swimming and try to find his way to shore.
As you could have probably guessed, the tough ex-NFL player opted for option two and almost immediately began trying to find his way to shore.
A Story of Survival Unlike Any Other
When floating around in the water shortly after being ejected from his small boat, Rob Konrad knew that he had to do something, and quick. For trained swimmers, spending more than 15 hours in the water is not too unusual, but for the untrained, anything over an hour is considered to be borderline dangerous. Luckily, Konrad’s years of playing one of the most brutal sports in the world prepared him, both physically and mentally, for what lay ahead.
The first decisions Rob made after deciding to swim to shore was to remove all of his clothing with the exception of his underwear. In the past, many, many people who have found themselves stranded without a boat at sea have succumbed to the elements because they decided to keep their clothes on. Most often, the reasoning for keeping one’s clothes on is in an attempt to preserve warmth in water that can reach 25 or more degrees under normal body temperatures. In reality, however, keeping your clothes on does not preserve body heat and does more in the way of weighing you down than anything else.
After removing most of his clothing, Konrad used the sun and shore lights to orientate himself and determine what direction he needed to swim. Even the most leisurely of 9-mile swims can be exhausting, and for Konrad, this was no walk in the park. Constantly fighting currents, waves, and ocean life, his journey to shore was one that was never guaranteed to be completed. But through his perseverance, he was, after 16 grueling hours, finally able to make it to shore.
During his swim to shore, Konrad recalls being circled by sharks and stung by at least one jellyfish, but neither of these factors deterred him. This story is truly remarkable because it comes down to a person’s will to survive, and perfectly exemplifies how strong that will can be. Konrad vowed to see his wife and children again, and that is exactly what he did once he arrived on shore.
Though his NFL playing days undoubtedly prepared him to spend more than a 2/3’s of a day at sea, it did not guarantee his survival. Instead, it was Konrad’s own will-power that helped see him past countless obstacles en route to the South Florida shoreline. Konrad did not comment on when, if ever, he will head back out to sea by himself, but if he does, I bet he will fully prepare himself for any and all disaster situations.