July 12, 2013
Giant Ocean Wave

Jaws, in Maui, where waves reach heights of more than 50 feet via Shutterstock     Photo: Epic Stock Media

Man Swims for 5 Hours to Save Family

Boat capsized off Maryland coast

A man swam for five hours off of the Maryland coast to reach help for his family after their boat capsized in a storm Tuesday night. After climbing ashore, John Franklin Riggs found a phone and called 911, sending rescuers to the 16-foot Carolina skiff that had capsized near Deal Island, on the Eastern Shore.

“He came to the right house,” Angela Byrd told the Daily Times, who found the 46-year-old swimmer  outside, soaking wet, and barefoot.

“He said, `I’ve been swimming since sundown; I need help,’” she told the Daily Times.

In addition to Riggs, four family members were aboard the vessel when it capsized, including a 3-year-old boy, a 70-year-old retired commercial waterman, and a 9-year-old girl.

“I’ve never been so happy to see search boats in my life,” Emily Horn, 9, told CBS News. “It took him five hours to swim ashore. He had to stop and grab a crab pot buoy and rest, then swim. We clinged to the side of the boat and got stung by sea nettles in the dark.”


    Photo: NBC Video

Kayaker Shannon Christy Dies on the Potomac

Was practicing for Great Falls Race

Kayaker Shannon Christy has died on the Potomac River while preparing for this weekend's Great Falls Race. She was 24.

According to fellow paddlers, her boat became hung up on rocks under Potomac Falls. Before she disappeared, she was seen to remove her PFD and attempt to swim to shore.

Kayakers on shore, including Jason Beakes and Steve Fisher, attempted a live bait rescue, but the Class-IV rapids made next to impossible. Video of the recovery effort, which took over two hours, can be seen below.

The 26th annual Great Falls Race will include a memorial service for Christy at 11 a.m. on Saturday.


A human powered helicopter taking flight.     Photo: Aero Velo/YouTube

WATCH: Human-Powered Helicopter Takes Flight

Wins the $250,000 Sikorsky Prize

Officials with the Federation d'Aviation Intenationale—the governing body of international aeronautical prizes—have announced that a Kickstarter-funded team has won the Sikorsky Prize for flying a human-powered helicopter for more than a minute. For piloting the four-bladed craft, Canadian Todd Reichert and his team have won $250,000.

The Sikorsky Prize was established in 1980, mandating that a craft must fly 10 feet above the group within a horizontal area no bigger than 33 feet by 33 feet for at least 60 seconds to win. Reichert managed to pilot the helicopter at an indoor soccer stadium for 64 seconds.

The project got an early boost last year from a $30,000 Kickstarter campaign, but faced an uphill battle against a University of Maryland craft, called the Gamera, that met the Sikorsky altitude and duration minimums but failed to stay within the 33 feet by 33 feet requirement.


    Photo: Screenshot

Three Gored at Running of the Bulls

American loses spleen

Three people were gored at the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, on Friday, including an American who had to undergo surgery after taking a horn to the abdomen. Patrick Ekols, 20, had to have his spleen removed, and is now in stable condition, according to Navarra Hospital chief Juan Sesma.

Besides Ekols, two Spaniards were injured by bulls, including one who was gored in the groin and legs. Friday's five-minute event lasted almost twice as long as typical runs, due in part to a lone bull that split from the pack and charged at runners before being lured to the pen at the city's bull ring, according to Fox News.

The Running of the Bulls is the highlight of the nine-day Fiesta de San Fermin, for which Pamplona is best known. Fifteen people have been killed by bulls during the festival since 1924.