A Florida fisherman is dramatically rescued after ‘struggling to stay alive’ for 38 hours in his partially submerged 12ft boat while sharks stalked a drifting vessel 12 miles offshore
- Charles Gregory was on an early morning fishing trip off St. Augustine
A fisherman has been rescued 12 miles off the coast of Florida after struggling to stay alive for 38 hours in a partially submerged 12ft boat – while sharks stalked the drifting vessel.
Charles Gregory, 25, had left for a routine early morning fishing trip on Friday off St. Augustine, Florida, when a wave crashed into his little jon boat and threw him into the water.
Once he managed to get back on board, the tide took him and Charles clung to the ship for hours, spotting sharks and getting stung by jellyfish as he battled the intense heat.
“He was scared to death,” his father, Raymond Gregory, told CNN on Sunday.
“He said he had more conversations with God in those 30 hours than he had in his entire life.”
Charles Gregory, 25, (pictured in rescue footage) had left for a routine early morning fishing trip on Friday off St. Augustine in Florida when a wave crashed into his small boat jon and threw him in the water
After the plane locates Charles, a small raft is seen coming alongside and pulling him aboard
Apart from being badly sunburned, Charles suffered no serious injuries.
During the struggle, Charles frantically tried to keep the ship afloat, even removing the engine to prevent it from tipping over.
He also tried to take off his bathing suit to signal nearby boats and planes, his father said.
At night, suffering from severe sunburn, he struggled against the wind in the freezing cold.
On Saturday morning, an HC-130 Hercules plane crew spotted Charles about 12 miles offshore.
A video released by the coastguard shows him sitting in the middle of the partially submerged boat, his feet under water.
After the plane locates him, a small raft is seen coming alongside him and pulling him aboard.
Charles was transferred to shore, where he shared a touching reunion with his family.
Footage shows the 25-year-old red lobster being stretched as his crying mother thanks the Coast Guard and rescue teams.
Charles is now resting at home, dehydrated, exhausted and suffering from rhabdomyolysis, a condition involving the rapid dissolution of damaged or injured skeletal muscle.
His father said that although bruises, bite marks and sunburn are preventing him from leaving his bed, he should be fine, it’s great to have his son back.