Missing canoers rescued near Tampa

TAMPA, Florida - Rescue crews have found three men who spent the night in a swampy area along the Hillsborough River after they got lost while canoeing.

One of the men called the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Monday night asking for help.

The three are best friends: 26-year-old Andrew Sadberry, 36-year-old Robert Romero, and 22-year-old Michael Silhol. It was Sadberry's canoe.

Deputies say they spotted the men walking in a swampy, wooded area Tuesday morning. All three men appeared to be in good condition.

"We pretty much stayed on a log and kept an eye on each other" said Robert Romero. "[We were] talking, the helicopters overhead, trying to get their attention... that kept us up all night."

"We were taking turns watching out," said Michael Silhol. "One would go to sleep. The other two would stay up just keep switching."

"We got lost when we took a wrong turn, and then tried to find our way back, but couldn't make it," described Sadberry. "Finally we abandoned the canoe and looked for a place to sit on high ground; that's when we found a big log and stayed on that all night."

The men got lost while trying to find their way back to a launch site at John B. Sargeant Park.

The sheriff's office sent aircraft and marine units to the area to search for the men Monday night. Originally they thought two men were missing, but Tuesday morning they discovered a third man was with them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MAP: Launch Site

MAP: Police searched between John B. Sargeant Park and the Hillsborough River State Park


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