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Elderly airboat rider rescued from Everglades waters

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Expected to be fine.

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue safely scooped up an elderly man who wound up in Everglades waters after his vessel suffered a mechanical error just past midnight Wednesday.

Upon receiving the 2 a.m. distress call, emergency crews deployed a major search effort into the middle of the marshy mass, about 16 miles west of Krome Avenue's intersection with Southwest Eight Street.

Hi-tech tools like an infrared-equipped helmet helped air responders battle the darkness to locate the man in the dense swamp. "What these will do is amplify the ambient light to allow us to see better," said MDFR Lieutenant Chris Ackerman, "and it's quite amazing what you are able to see with these on."

Paramedics airlifted the man to Opa-Locka Airport, where he was treated by additional units before being transported to Kendall Regional Hospital as a precaution. "He was ready to get somewhere warm," said the lieutenant.

Despite not sustaining any physical injuries, the victim may suffer from hypothermia because of the dangerously cold water, however he is expected to be fine.

A man who accompanied the victim on the outing in a separate airboat assisted in the rescue.

The risky effort once again underlined the one irrefutable fact about the challenging and fulfilling work of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: there is never a dull moment. "Nowhere else in the world can you, on one day, go to a house fire and 20 minutes later save somebody from a heart attack, and the very next day be on a helicopter performing a rescue out in the middle of the Everglades or in [Biscayne] Bay," said Ackerman.
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Elderly airboat rider rescued from Everglades waters Expected to be fine.