Maryland man swims 5 hours to save family

DEAL ISLAND, Md. - A 46-year-old man swam for more than five hours in order to get help for his family that had been ejected from their boat near Deal Island.

At about 7 p.m., the boat that John Riggs, 70, was driving with four others onboard was swamped by waves during a storm about three miles off shore. The 16-foot Carolina Skiff was swamped by waves inside the vessel and over the stern.

When the boat took on water all occupants put on their life jackets. The water in the boat caused it to partially sink and roll over, sending everyone into the water. All five held onto the boat.

At about 7:30 p.m., John Franklin Riggs, 46, decided to swim for help and finally reached the shore at about 1 a.m., and knocked on the door of the closest home for help.

Emergency personnel were able to locate the vessel at about 3:00 a.m. All subjects were treated at the scene.

The occupants of the boat are family members and range in age from 3 to 70 years old. Life jackets and a quick response by multiple jurisdictions are being credited for the safe rescue of all involved.

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