Categorized | National News

Men Rescued After Eight Days Adrift

Two Bahamian men who were stranded atop their capsized boat for more than a week without food or water have been rescued in the Gulf Stream.

Both men, who are in their late fifties, are now in a South Florida hospital.

A passing freighter spotted the pair clinging to the hull and alerted the US Coast Guard.

Coast Guard officials said they dispatched a rescue helicopter from Air Station Miami, which had just finished a training exercise.

The men were found two hours later, 30 miles off shore between Boca Raton and West Palm Beach.

“When we first saw them we had no idea how long they’d been out there. It wasn’t until moments later when we’d gotten word that they’d in fact been out there for eight days in that situation, said Lt. Jarod Glover, a U.S. Coast Guard pilot.

Coast Guard rescue swimmer Kyle Stallings was lowered on to the overturned boat, where he found the men soaked, sunburned and shaking uncontrollably.

“They were really exposed and really deteriorating quickly. They were both in tears. You could tell they were on their last straw of hope,” Mr. Stallings said.

“I swam over, and you could see they were excited. They definitely were on their last ray of hope and they were ready to get off that boat.”

He says they were dehydrated and were suffering from hypothermia.

“You could see it in their skin, you could see it in their eyes; you could see it in their hands,” he said.
Using a rescue basket, the crew hoisted the two survivors up to the chopper flying overhead.

Mr. Stalling said one of the men was saying his prayers, crying.

Coast Guard Lt. Mark Aguilar said, “I actually leaned over my shoulder and got one of those acknowledging head nods that everybody knows, of ‘Thank you, I appreciate your help’.”

Coast Guard Petty Officer Jose Rivera said, “It’s what we trained for, it’s what we do. It’s why we joined the Coast Guard. It’s why we all joined the Coast Guard.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the pair was not attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, and will have help getting home to The Bahamas once they are well enough to be released.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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