Aug 20th 2008 By Tom Radler
If they ever make treading water an extraordinarily boring event in the Olympics, we know of one Wisconsin man who'd make the cut.
James Nelson, 56, of Allouez, was recently knocked out of his sailboat into Lake Michigan's Green Bay
after being struck by the boat's boom. Twelve hours later, a Coast Guard helicopter spotted Nelson and was able to rescue him from the vast body of water.
Nelson's ordeal was made worse when the Coast Guard appeared to almost
spot him. "I heard the rotors and looked east and here was this magnificent whirlybird," said Nelson. "I waved my arms, but I sank underwater. I could see the spotlight hit my arms. By the time I surfaced it was heading west."
"I said a prayer and the 'helo' turned east. I waved my arms and kept my head above water this time. He flicked his light that he saw me."
Nelson claims that when he was rescued he was "about out of gas." And while that is completely understandable, we were a bit confused about why a man under 80 would refer to a helicopter as a "whirlybird."