Dateline Florida

Published March 17, 2007

pulled from the drink - but did he have a few?

Michael Mankamyer is one lucky guy. The 35-year-old Orlando man was aboard a cruise ship off Florida's east coast about 12:45 a.m. Friday when he fell or jumped from a balcony into the darkness of the Atlantic Ocean, officials said. The Carnival Glory stopped and alerted the Coast Guard, and together they searched for eight hours until Mankamyer was plucked to safety off Fort Lauderdale. He was suffering from mild hypothermia but otherwise was in good shape. The Glory, based at Port Canaveral, was on a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas. Mankamyer was traveling with a godson who was celebrating his 16th birthday, the Orlando Sentinel reported. How Mankamyer ended up in the drink was unclear, but a witness told the Coast Guard he was intoxicated.

Hiccup girl will see another specialist

Jennifer Mee started taking a new prescription drug and slept about 15 hours straight from Thursday night until Friday afternoon. The 15-year-old, whose intractable hiccups began on Jan. 23, had returned to classes at St. Petersburg's Northeast High School on Wednesday. But after having subsided for several days, the spasms returned on Thursday. Once again, Jennifer had to leave school. Her mother, Rachel Robidoux, said Jennifer has an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist next week.

Cocoa Beach: Keep sofas off our sand

Last year, Cocoa Beach officials banned beer kegs from the beach, raised fines for littering and installed trash cans and containers for cigarette butts. They didn't realize they had to ban couches, too. But you can add that to the list after a series of rowdy parties left the beach strewn with living room furniture last weekend. The City Commission voted unanimously for the measure Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The ban applies to a two-block stretch.

Deaf dolphin can't be returned to sea

A pregnant bottlenose dolphin rescued off Vero Beach in November was released Jan. 30 after convalescing at Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory. But instead of swimming away, she returned to the beach three times. It turns out she's deaf and cannot be released. "Deafness and other central nervous system issues she has would prohibit her from functioning normally," said Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Dolphins need to hear in order to utilize dolphin sonar. The dolphin, nicknamed Castaway, will remain at the Marine Mammal Conservancy in the Florida Keys for at least nine months before heading to a permanent facility.

On the web

Can't we be nice?

Must we smear the names of politicians in order to defeat them? Howard Troxler wants to know. See his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/troxler.