SOUTH WALTON, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Walton County man is recovering after being trapped under a collapsed dock for nearly half an hour.
Sunday, while trying to catch a glimpse of the annual Seaside Half Marathon race from his neighbor's dock, Hank White took an unfortunate step.
"I decided to walk out on Rick's dock and watch some of the runners over there," said White. "I just went on down to the dock and decided to go down to his lower level so I could just support myself and watch it. As soon as I hit that top step it just went."
White said he knew immediately he was in trouble.
"I just started yelling at the racers. I yelled at... probably 200 people had passed by the bridge before people, a couple of them started hearing me and so on," White described, "but that was a long time I had been hollering about every three to five seconds, you know, 'help' very loud."
White said it was nearly 30 minutes before the first signs of help showed up to rescue him. That's when a neighbor, two marathon runners, and Walton County Sheriff's Deputy Nick McMillian came to his aid.
"A gentleman flagged me down and advised a guy was yelling for help around Alligator Lake," McMillian said.
"They hadn't seen me, but they were just following my yells for help. So within one minute, five of them showed up and I had been, you know, waiting a half hour. It was amazing," White explained.
"It looked like he appeared to be trapped under his dock in the water," McMillian said. "He was unable to move. He had a large laceration to his left leg and a gash and large laceration to his forehead."
Forty stitches later, White said he couldn't be more grateful for those who stopped to help him.
"They gave up finishing their half marathon, less than three miles to the end, to go help somebody," said White. "I call it kind of a small miracle."
White said through all the commotion, he can't quite recall the names of those who helped him, but said he wants to invite them over for a big hug and to thank them again.