Diver rescued after being swept away by current

The 21-year-old was free diving by a reef in Key West when a strong current took him under the water. (SEAN CAGGIANO, PRISCILLA GARTENMAYER, CNN)
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 3:00 AM CST
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KEY WEST, Fla. (CNN) - A diver managed to stay alive until he could be rescued after he became adrift for two hours off the Florida Keys.

Dylan Gartenmayer, 21, began diving when he was just 11. Family members say that experience helped him survive the frightening ordeal.

The young man was free diving Thursday by a reef in Key West when a strong current took him under the water. When he resurfaced, he had drifted away from his boat.

His friends started searching for him and eventually called the Coast Guard for help.

Meanwhile, Gartenmayer was resourceful. He found a bamboo stick and used it to help keep him afloat. He then swam two miles to get back to the reef.

Family members, who had been searching for Gartenmayer for two hours, spotted him. Videos of the moment show their cheers of celebration, with people hugging the 21-year-old after he gets on the boat.

Gartenmayer was brought back to shore, where Coast Guard members determined his body temperature was low. Once that was stabilized, he was free to go.