said by ropeguru:
Last time I checked, cell phones could call 911 where he could have gotten help.
Last time I checked, cell phones generally don't survive a swim in salt water.
The way I read the story, he didn't swim until after his craft had started sinking ('taking on water'), and it probably wouldn't be prudent to wait around for someone to show up. So he swam. And we don't know if he has the wherewithal to keep his phone dry while swimming. In retrospect, a little waterproof phone case would have been a smart move, but we already know that forethought wasn't his strong suit.