Science and TechNatural Disasters


One Florida Captain Rode Out Hurricane Ian On His Houseboat

Florida resident Mike Staczek says he's been through other hurricanes — but this one was by far the worst.
Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 01, 2022

Captain Mike Staczek still can’t shake the fury and vengeance Hurricane Ian unleashed.

“It was really unbelievable," Staczek said. "Couldn’t see more than six inches out the window. It sounded like there was a freight train all around us."

Staczek’s steel houseboat on the Fort Myers Beach marina became his safe haven as he rode out the powerful storm. Dangerous winds and historic storm surge knocked the boat around like a toy.

Staczek, a Florida resident, says he’s been through other hurricanes — but this one was by far the worst.

He says he felt safer in his boat than his home, and decided to tie down before Ian slammed into the southwest Florida coastline and devastated the marina. 

Staczek owns multiple boats and says his floating hotel — once propelling business with its paradise appeal — now sits battered. But he’s confident in a comeback.

"We will rebuild," he said. "We will clean it up. Everybody push forward."

Staczek says he was able to get one of his boats running. He’s been cleaning up the mess — a job that could take weeks, if not months.