Cortez fisher rescues man from Longboat Pass

A man swimming in Longboat Pass Aug. 2 was rescued by a Cortez commercial fisherman and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Brian Galliher, 27 and homeless, was found floating unconscious in the water by fisher Harry Mofield, according to Bradenton Beach police and MCSO reports.

Mofield jumped from his boat with a life ring, put it around Galliher and was tying the life ring to his boat as MCSO Sgt. Russ Schnering arrived on his vessel.

Schnering heard the call come in at about 1 p.m. while on marine patrol near Jewfish Key, which is situated east of the Longboat Pass Bridge on the Intracoastal Waterway.

He and his crew responded to Longboat Pass, and “luckily” Mofield’s fishing boat was the only vessel in the area at the time “so we went right to it.”

As of Aug. 4, Galliher was alert and coherent at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, according to Bradenton Beach Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz.

“It couldn’t have gone any better as far as a rescue,” Schnering said.

Mofield “did an awesome job” assisting the unconscious man into the MCSO vessel, where Schnering began CPR, chest compressions and used the automated external defibrillator.

While Schnering said he didn’t know how Galliher ended up in trouble in the water, Bradenton Beach police report a witness saw Galliher earlier with another man on the shore at Coquina Park.

The witness told police Galliher, appearing intoxicated, jumped in and “just kept swimming,” Bradenton Beach Police Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz said.

The witness next saw Galliher floating on the bay side of the Longboat Pass Bridge and also saw Galliher’s friend leave, Diaz said.

Schnering said he got a pulse on Galliher before the MCSO marine unit pulled into Coquina South Boat Ramp, where Manatee County Marine Rescue assisted. EMS transported Galliher to Blake.

“If it wasn’t for him,” Schnering said of Mofield, “the man wouldn’t be in the hospital today.”

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