WEST BROWARD, Fla. (WSVN) — Three South Florida men have been found after getting lost during a canoe trip in the Everglades.

Eric Flite, his 19-year-old son and his friend headed out Saturday for a day of duck hunting with proper gear and equipment. However, they became the hunted, after they lost their way back to shore.

“Around five o’clock, we started trying to head back,” Flite said. “The sun was going down pretty quick, we kept going back and forth down trails to a dead end. We kept back-tracking.”

The crew, led by Flite, who is a longtime hunter, left just east of US Highway 27 in Weston. “I’ve been hunting the Everglades since I’ve been 8 years old,” Flite said.

The group decided to venture into a different park because their normal hunting location was filled with too many hunters. “We got tired of not being able to hunt,” Flite said. “We knew where we were the whole time. It’s just that the grass was so thick, and we couldn’t see where we were going once the sun went down. We didn’t have the correct light or the right gear.”

Once the sun set and temperatures dropped, circumstances began to worry the three men. “A bunch of grass and a bunch of dead ends. We were getting aggravated,” Flite said. “We weren’t getting very far. We couldn’t see where we were going. We had alligators all around us at the time because you could flash the light, and there was at least 15 of them.”

The sawgrass was too high for the group to maneuver out of. Luckily their phone still had battery and service, allowing for the group to call Broward Sheriff”s Fire Rescue. “I guess probably about an hour after we made that call, they were on top of us with a helicopter,” Flite said. “Very happy. These guys were great. They were there probably 20 minutes after they put their boat in, the helicopter found us, and they came right to us. Very grateful.”

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