ATLANTA - When I first began my meteorology career, I saved a man’s life. My first job was in Palm Beach, Florida. It was a beautiful station located on the Intracoastal Waterway. One cold February night, a little boy ran in to the front lobby screaming that his dad fell off the seawall and never came up. I immediately ran outside and looked for bubbles in the water. I saw none but the boy pointed to where he fell in. The water was about 65 degrees. It was a pitch black night and the water was about 30 feet deep. I threw off my jacket and dove in. I made two dives to the bottom but could not locate him. On the third dive my foot kicked something. I grabbed the man’s shirt and swam up to the surface. Gasping for breath I pulled the man up to the top. By that time everyone else was outside the station watching me and they grabbed him by the arms and pulled him up. I was the only one who knew CPR and after a struggle, he jolted back to life, spewing water everywhere. Then the paramedics arrived and three days later, he left the hospital and came to the station to thank me with his son.
I am camera shy. I never smiled when my picture was taken as a child. I am still very shy.
In High School I was a sprinter. I also ran the high hurdles (because no one else on the track team would).
Brad Nitz and I grew up in Florida and surfed the same beaches. That beach is now called “The Shark Bite Capitol of the World.”
I love fishing. I enjoy seeing friends, like Dr. Oz, catch the “big one”.
I once saw something extremely strange while fishing out in the Bermuda Triangle…very strange. It was a beautiful, clear and calm June morning as I left the Palm Beach Inlet. By 7 a.m. the sun was just rising. I was 18 miles off shore in about 600 feet of water. I put the outriggers out and began to troll around. After about a half hour I saw the water churning about a quarter of a mile away. The churning water was about the size of a football field. I thought it was a huge school of fish so I motored the boat toward the churning water. The ocean was like glass, except for this area. As I got closer I saw that it was not a school of fish, just waves about 2-3 feet high, surrounded by flat calm water. As I got within a few feet of the waves something shot up my spine and knocked my head back. It happened in a split second. As I looked back down to the console I now saw the port gas tank gauge was now working. It was not when I left the dock. I looked at my GPS and my GPS track was completely gone. When I looked toward shore, I recognized the land marks but I was apparently 2 miles north of where I thought I was. There were no more waves and the ocean was again, dead calm. I asked a friend at Autec sub base if it might have been a submarine but he said a sub would not be in 600 feet of water and there were no subs in the area at the time I reported this event. A few minutes later, my port gas gauge went back to not working and my GPS track resumed as normal. To this day, I have no idea what it was or what happened to me.
If I were not a meteorologist I would be in the space program. One of my best friends is Col. Alfred M. Worden, Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot.