(FORT PIERCE, Fla.) — Two fishermen who had only their capsized boat and a small cooler full of food and water to survive were rescued after 17 hours at sea.
Justyn Bradley and Cory Bowman were dolphin fishing off Jupiter Inlet near Fort Pierce, Fla., Sunday when a 12-foot wave toppled their 21-foot boat “in a matter of seconds.”
“It threw me about 30 feet off the boat,” Bradley told local ABC affiliate WPBF. “My buddy went down and we came up and surfaced.”
The pair clung for dear life to the cooler they managed to save and the vessel as they waited for help to arrive.
Fortunately, the two men had given their wives detailed plans of their fishing route. When Bradley and Bowman did not return Sunday evening as planned, their wives alerted the Coast Guard.
“We had to go through a whole night where a plane came close and left, and didn’t [see us] and left,” Bradley told WBPF.
Around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, a Coast Guard air crew spotted the men about 50 miles off the coast from where they set out.
Amazingly, around the same time, a civilian boat also spotted Bradley and Bowman and came over to help.
Coast Guard cameras captured the Good Samaritans in the boat coming over to help the pair and pull them to safety.
Neither Bradley nor Bowman suffered any injuries beyond exhaustion and dehydration.
“Thanks to everyone involved,” said Bradley. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today.”
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