PORT SALERNO, Fla. - A commercial fisherman from Belle Glade is dead and several others are recovering after investigators said a giant wave capsized their boat near the St. Lucie Inlet on Saturday.
Florida Fish and Wildlife said Fransico Rodriguez, 60, was found floating in the water and deceased. George Delgato, Jorge Romero and Carlos Carmellon were also in the boat but survived.
FWC said had it not been for a local fisherman in the area, the three men who were saved might not have made it to shore.
John Summers, 72, was out fishing for Mackerel on Saturday when he noticed someone floating in the water.
"You don't even think of it, you just do it. You don't leave anyone on the water," said Summers, who struggled holding back tears.
Summer said he was heading back into the St. Lucie Inlet when he saw a body and heard someone yelling.
"It was just all luck, all luck. They were lucky, I was lucky that I came through there," said Summers.
Battling relentless rain and 10-foot swells, Summers went from each person. He used his floatation on his boat, saving one life at a time while risking his own.
"Just get the job done. That shook me up because I was just five minutes too late," said Summers.
Rodriguez was already dead according to investigators by the time Summers appeared. The three others who were in the boat though were all rescued to safety.
"I guess it was just that I wish I would have saved all of them," said Summers.
The 72-year-old Port Salerno resident said he did what any fisherman would do.
FWC officers said he is hero.
"Just glad I could do it," said Summers.
FWC officers said they were unable to tow the vessel to shore on Saturday. The boat remains stuck on a sandbar. Investigators said they will try to reach it on Sunday if the weather improves.