Kayaker saves life of lost iguana swimming four miles out to sea

Mark Molloy

A friendly kayaker saved the life of a very lost iguana he found swimming four miles out to sea.

The fisherman, who runs YouTube channel Key West Kayak Fishing, said it was “pretty crazy to see the guy so far out”.

He was on a fishing trip off the Florida Keys archipelago when he bumped into the struggling reptile who gratefully hopped onto his kayak.

“I was coming in from an offshore trip and I noticed a weird shaped object floating in the distance,” he explained.

“All I could see were the multiple fins running down its back so I thought it was some sort of palm frond, but it just didn't look right. I ended up stopping and noticed that it started swimming.”

A fisherman saved an iguana off the Florida Keys  Credit: Key West Kayak Fishing

The kayaker believes the iguana may have died if he hadn’t bumped into it, explaining, “I have seen plenty swimming around the islands, but never one that far out.

“Most likely, because of the king tides that are occurring it got caught in one of the swift outgoing tides and got pushed out to sea. I was just inside the reef so it was close to four miles from land.  

The iguana hitches a ride  Credit: Key West Kayak Fishing

“Most likely it would have died out there as the current that far out would most likely push it east with very little chance of coming back inshore. But you never know and it could be its normal daily swim back and forth between Cuba and the US.”

He added: “Regardless, it was pretty cool see it trust me enough (versus dying of course) to swim toward the kayak and hop on.  And then for it to just cruise along in the open water and then just as it saw the safety of the mangroves close by, it took a leap and swam to shore. Pretty cool.”

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