Texas Fishermen Rescue Man After His Boat Sank 16 Hours Before In Heart Breaking Story
This story has a bittersweet ending because the man was rescued after floating aimlessly at sea for 16 hours, but he lost a friend along the way. I came across this story on the ‘Salt Strong’ Facebook forum, and it takes place in Galveston, Texas. A couple of dudes were out fishing when they spotted something in the water that turned out to be a man in grave distress. I don’t want to hijack the story, so here it is (via Facebook):
We went fishing out of eagle point marina this morning. The wind was blowing like crazy and it was way to rough to go but everyone wanted to, so off we went. Headed south towards Hannah’s reef. About half way there I see something in the water, first thought was a pelican. Then it waved at me! I made a hard turn to starboard and we pulled him out quickly. He was holding onto one of the white PVC pipes that marks reefs and shallow spots. We had him sit on a ice chest and gave him water. We called his wife as soon as we had him in the boat. He said they were on a sail boat yesterday and a line had wrapped itself in the prop. One of the guys went overboard to free the line and somehow they both ended up in the bay. With the way the wind was blowing their sail boat left them in a hurry. He said his friend died in his arms overnight. I don’t know at what point they became separated. He said he had been in the water since yesterday afternoon. I am guessing he had been in the water either drifting or holding onto the pipe for 15-16 hours. He did have a life jacket on! He was pretty cut up from barnacles and oyster shells. He had a pretty good sized scrape on top of his head. I honestly don’t know how he held on to that pole for that long. I am guessing that is when he was separated from his friend. I called the coast guard and met with them. They asked if I could take him to the dock so they could continue to search for his friend. We booked it back to eagle point, he puked a good bit of the ride back. Probably from all the salt water he had swallowed. His wife showed up at the marina and so did the wife and child of his friend. An ambulance showed up and took over.
On the way back to the ramp we passed a 6-7 ft alligator swimming about 300yds from where this all happened.
I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through that man’s mind as he floated aimlessly overnight. Clinging onto that pole for his life, all in hopes that someone would come along and rescue him. Losing your best friend in the middle of the night and waking to realize you’re all alone out there…This, after you’ve already lost your boat and are unsure if you’re making it out alive. The psychological trauma of an experience like that would break men a lot stronger than me, but this man endured.