Off-duty cops mistake stranded diver for shark as they reel him while fishing

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Lieutenants Woolf and Thoresen reeling in a stranded diver during a fishing trip after mistaking him for a shark (Image: Jam Press/Marion County Sheriff
Lieutenants Woolf and Thoresen reeling in a stranded diver during a fishing trip after mistaking him for a shark (Image: Jam Press/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

Two off-duty officers have reeled in a man as their catch – after mistaking the diver for a shark.

Lieutenants Woolf and Thoresen, who work at The Marion County Sheriff's Office, were out fishing about six miles off-shore when they noticed what they thought was an injured animal in the water.

Jumping into action, they got closer and realised it was, in fact, a diver who had drifted from his boat. The incident took place in Florida Keys, Florida, US, last week, and was later shared on Facebook with a bizarre range of photos.

“I thought I saw what might be a bird down on the water flapping its wing,” Lt. Woolf told the local press. “Like it was injured.”

Off-duty cops mistake stranded diver for shark as they reel him while fishing eideziqkeiqhhinvJumping into action, they got closer and realised it was, in fact, a diver (Jam Press/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

The diver had been swept away by a current with his boat later discovered two miles from the rescue scene.

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The US coastguard was notified and the diver was taken to safety and is in “good health”.

“Call it luck, call it being vigilant even on their days off, call it whatever you want,” said the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “We may just call it a miracle.

“We know our deputies are willing to go above and beyond at work as they serve Marion County and, in instances like this, we find their commitment extends to their days off… in other counties… 6 miles off-shore.

Off-duty cops mistake stranded diver for shark as they reel him while fishingThe incident took place in Florida Keys, Florida (Jam Press/Marion County Sheriff's Office)

“We are happy to report that the diver was safely returned in good health and the Lieutenants were able to land a few fish by the end of the day too!”

In a series of photos, the officers can be seen patting the diver on the back and looking after him after hauling him onto their boat. The event has gathered plenty of attention from locals.

Mary said: “The diver shouldn’t of been diving alone.”

Judy agreed, adding: “Well done. Exactly what Mary said”

Claudie added: “Awesome praise God.”

Alan commented: “This was no luck. This is God's work.”

Elley wrote: “God places people in places for the right reasons.”

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Douglas Patient

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