College football fans can breathe a sigh of relief after this former star player is rescued

Apr 5, 2024

There is always an element of danger when you venture into the outdoors.

This is especially true when you take a kayak out into open water.

But, college football fans are very glad after this former star player was rescued after being lost during a fishing trip.

Chris Smelley’s horrifying experience serves as a lesson for other outdoorsman

Many people don’t realize there are some dangers to fishing, especially when you are getting to the fish on a kayak.

Outdoorsmen must remain ever vigilant due to the unpredictable element of mother nature.

Former University of South Carolina Quarterback Chris Smelley learned this the hard way after getting lost during a fishing trip which he embarked on last Thursday.

According to Smelley, he left on a routine fishing trip in his kayak around 8:30 A.M. close to Grayton Beach, Florida, when things quickly took a turn for the worse.

Smelley spoke out about the rest of his fishing trip to WBRC FOX 6 News, saying, “I was in a big, heavy kayak. And I got out there and right off the shore, the wind was just whipping and a lot stronger than it was at shore.”

He added, “I wish there was a story that a giant shark dragged me out or I was battling a sea monster – but it was really just nature – it was just the wind. My body was sitting up tall and I was basically just a big sail. I was giving it everything I could and there was a long period of time where I was at the mercy of the wind.”

According to WBRC FOX 6 News, “Minutes turned into hours and when he did not return in the time that was expected, his wife started to worry and called local law enforcement. That’s when the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard and wildlife officials began an urgent search for him.”

Fortunately, search teams, aided by his friends and families, found him alive last Friday, bringing him home to safety.

Smelley recounted the rescue effort, saying, “I wouldn’t say I was necessarily scared, but there was sometimes where, especially as the sun started going down, and I had seen the rescue helicopters fly over me pretty close by a few times but they didn’t see me, that I thought I was going to spend the night in the ocean. So, I had just caught a fish and was preparing to clean it to give me some energy to try to keep paddling back in when the rescue helicopter pulled in.”

Chris Smelley’s ordeal shows that anybody can get swept away

As Chris Smelley outlined, embarking on open waters sometimes comes with great risk, because there are many unpredictable factors.

Before you go on a kayaking trip like this one, always make sure to let people know where you are going and when you plan to return.

If Smelley had not followed that basic safety tip, then he could have faced a much grimmer outcome.

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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