A weekend fishing trip turned into a rescue mission after a boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving three passengers trapped for more than a day while two fought off shark attacks.
After a worried relative reported them missing on Saturday night, searchers located the trio in the water about 25 miles off the coast of Empire, Louisiana, on Sunday. According to a press statement from the Coast Guard’s 8th District Heartland.
Two of the three were fending off sharks when rescuers finally reached them. They were rescued by a boat crew and flown to the hospital. The third swimmer was pulled out of the water and into the boat. The Coast Guard said that all three are doing well despite the fact that two of them had hand injuries and one showed signs of hypothermia.
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, who coordinated the search and rescue operation, said in a press statement that things could have turned out very differently if the family member hadn’t alerted the Coast Guard and the three boaters hadn’t been wearing life jackets.
In the early morning hours, about 10:00, the boat carrying the three people went down. On Saturday, authorities reported that rescue workers had searched an area roughly the size of Rhode Island, or 1,250 square miles.
Keefe expressed gratitude to the boating community for their support in locating the vessel’s last known location.