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Animal lover: Rescued Florida jet skier says he lost ski saving bird

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PORT RICHEY, Fla. – A missing Florida jet skier took refuge in a stilt house after he lost his water scooter attempting to save a bird caught in a wire.

Cole Torrent, 28, borrowed a friend's jet ski and launched around 1 p.m. Tuesday. He was reported missing in the evening by the same friend, news outlets reported. The search began at Millers Bayou in Port Richey. The U.S. Coast Guard was called in around 7 p.m. and a few hours later Port Richey police said they found Torrent's jet ski in a mangrove but not Torrent.

Twelve hours later, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office found Torrent by helicopter Wednesday morning, he was waving at them from a stilt home near the mouth of the Pithlachascotee River.

Torrent told WTVT-TV he saw a bird tangled in wiring and wanted to save it. He docked his jet ski to help the bird but didn't secure the watercraft and it drifted away from him.

Torrent said he tried to swim to it but got tired because of the heavy current, so he swam to an empty stilt house and broke into it. He said the house had a space heater and a tarp to help him keep warm. He waited until he heard the helicopters.

“I’m a little tired and hungry, but other than that, I was able to manage,” Torrent told WTVT.

Torrent offered to repair the damages to the stilt home but police said he won’t face any charges.