Video: Lost jogger jokes about ordeal

updated 9/5/2006 1:00:33 PM ET 2006-09-05T17:00:33

A missing runner was rescued from a Florida swamp after spending four days stuck in the muck with only the waist-deep swamp water to drink. His first request: some good, old-fashioned drinking water.

Eddie Meadows, 62, had left for a run over his lunch hour Thursday but never returned to his office at a nearby University of Central Florida research park, authorities said.

He was spotted among the brush and trees Monday morning as 50 friends and colleagues searched for him.

Meadows, who was parched and covered with bug bites, had consumed swamp water to stay hydrated during the four-day ordeal, said university police Sgt. Woody Furnas. Furnas said the area has thick silt and muck that can act like glue.

"He had great spirits, and he was very adamant about getting a drink of water," Furnas said. "He said he slept a lot and stayed down in the water."

A hospital spokeswoman would not discuss Meadows' condition but the Orlando Sentinel reported that Meadows underwent extra blood tests for possible infections from the swamp water.

Furnas described Meadows, a contract employee with the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, as "a strong guy. He's in good shape. He's a marathoner."

Ron Eaglin, a UCF computer-engineering professor, found Eaglin in the heavy brush, and then called 911 to report the location.

"I really thought we were looking for a body," Eaglin told the Orlando Sentinel. "I was very happy when it wasn't a body we found."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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