2 Men Cling To Capsized Boat For More Than 1 Week

By: CBS NEWS (Posted by Josh Mabry)
By: CBS NEWS (Posted by Josh Mabry)

(CBS News) Two men are in a South Florida hospital Monday after surviving an ordeal on the open sea. They were stranded atop their capsized boat, with no food or water, for more than a week.

The unidentified men were adrift and running out of time when a cargo ship spotted them clinging to their overturned boat, and called for help.

Lt. Jarod Glover, a U.S. Coast Guard pilot, said, "When we first saw them we had no idea how long they'd been out there. It wasn't until moments later when we'd gotten word that they'd in fact been out there for eight days in that situation."

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A Coast Guard rescue team found the Bahamian boaters stranded in the middle of the Gulf Stream, approximately 30 miles off shore, between Florida and the Bahamas.

Once there, the Coast Guard lowered rescue swimmer, Kyle Stallings. "I swam over, and you could see they were excited," Stallings said. "They definitely were on their last ray of hope and they were ready to get off that boat."

He says they were dehydrated and were suffering from hypothermia: "You could see it in their skin, you could see it in their eyes, you could see it in their hands.

Using a rescue basket, the crew hoisted the two survivors up to the chopper flying overhead. Stalling said, "One of the gentlemen was saying his prayers, crying."

Coast Guard Lt. Mark Aguilar said, "I actually leaned over my shoulder and got one of those acknowledging head nods that everybody knows, of 'Thank you, I appreciate your help'."

The crew airlifted the men to a Florida hospital, and very likely saved their lives.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Jose Rivera said, "It's what we trained for, it's what we do. It's why we joined the Coast Guard. It's why we all joined the Coast Guard.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells CBS the pair was not attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, and will have help getting home to the Bahamas, once they are well.

Watch Terrell Brown's full report above.
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