Florida Man’s Incredible Survival Tale: Lost at Sea for 2 Days

Charles Gregory, a seasoned angler, set out early on a Friday morning to fish the waters around St. Augustine, Florida. He misjudged how quickly the water would rise. Then a wave crashed into his jon boat, a lightweight and flat-bottomed vehicle of 12 feet in length, sending him plunging beneath the surface.

Even though he made it back on the ship, they left port right away. Raymond Gregory, the man’s father, told CNN on Sunday that his son, then 25 years old, “struggled to stay alive” for over two days as he clung to the partially submerged boat in the blistering Florida sun, getting stung by jellyfish and seeing sharks.

He was scared to death,” Raymond said. “He said he’s had more conversations with God in that 30 hours than he’s had his whole life.” The US Coast Guard said in a press release that on Saturday morning, after an airplane spotted Charles about 12 miles offshore, boat workers rescued him.

Florida Man's Incredible Survival Tale

The spectacular rescue is captured on film by the Coast Guard and shows Charles sitting in the submerged boat with its bow just above the water. Around 4 a.m. ET on Friday morning, everything began. The Coast Guard reports that Charles was last seen driving away in the Jon boat from the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp.

Charles, his father recounted, struggled to stay alive as the tide carried him out to sea and he was exposed to the sun. Charles spent over two days trying desperately to keep the boat afloat, going so far as to disconnect the motor. He frantically tried to obtain help, his father recounted, even taking off his swim trunks to wave at passing boats and planes.

The night, though, was the worst part. “At night being sunburnt, and the wind would be blowing, he said it was freezing cold out there in that water,” Raymond said. Charles is currently recuperating at home. Rhabdomyolysis, the release of muscle cell contents into the bloodstream due to injured muscle, can be exacerbated by dehydration, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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His father claimed that his son is expected to be well despite the fact that he is having trouble moving and getting out of bed due to his terrible sunburn, bruises, and bites. Raymond expressed his gratitude to the many search groups and the community at large for their efforts in locating and retrieving his kid.

At the end of the day, the whole moral of the story is ‘don’t ever give up,’” he said. According to the Coast Guard’s press release, once Gregory was rescued, he was welcomed by emergency services at the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier.

“While this case resulted in rescuing Charles from a life-threatening situation, it highlights the importance of having safety gear onboard and being prepared for the worst,” Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Commander Nick Barrow said.

“If you plan to head out on the water, remember to have a life jacket, VHF marine grade radio, signaling devices and an emergency personal locator beacon to contact first responders in case you are in need of assistance,” he said.

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