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Shark assaults, jellyfish stings and 28 hours swimming within the sea: that is how three sailors survived. CNN



three sailors clinging to a floating raft of ice chests and till they had been Saved after 28 hoursThanks everybody for a miraculous textual content message.

Three longtime pals set out on October 8 to catch pink snapper like that they had achieved many instances earlier than. But quickly the tough seas began troubling their fishing boat, flooding the within of the ship.

“The minute we saw the back of the boat start to water, I knew it right there and there,” Fong Le mentioned on NBC’s “Today” present. “It was like the perfect storm for the perfect accident.”

The entrance of the boat was tied to an oil rig, however the waves broke, crashing the boat. According to an interview with “Good Morning America,” the boys had about two minutes to react earlier than their 24-foot middle console boat sank at 10 a.m.

The males rapidly constructed an improvised raft, tying the 2 ice chests along with Ley’s bandanas.

“Every time I go fishing, I wear a bandana because I lose a hat every time,” Le mentioned.

He tried to steer himself to the oil rig for assist.

“Every oil rig has some sort of phone, or something there, so we figured we could go out there and we could make a distress call,” Le mentioned. But he by no means made it.

As the sky darkened, the three males cling to the cooler, the moon giving some relaxation.

“Good thing there was a full moon because we had light,” Luan Nguyen advised NBC. “We could barely see anything, so we just left at night.”

Until an undesirable visitor arrives. A shark broke into Nguyen and the battle for survival started.

“The shark hit the life vest and I tried to push it. He wouldn’t go away, so I poked him in the eye,” Nguyen advised NBC. “I put my thumb in his eye and he left. I got something Got two marks, but you know.”

One of the sailor's life jackets was torn due to a shark attack.

Other sea creatures additionally made their presence identified, making issues much more troublesome for the swimming individuals.

“Every 15 to 20 minutes, you were constantly being bitten by a jellyfish,” Lay advised NBC.

“In the middle of the night, I woke up with such a big jellyfish on my lap,” Lay mentioned, rushing throughout the interview that the jellyfish was about as vast because it was.

The males remained largely silent as they jumped within the water.

“It was very cold, so we were just trying to stay warm, just trying to hold each other and stay warm,” Le mentioned.

Le broke away from the group the subsequent morning. He advised NBC he wished to swim about 5 miles in a shrimp boat and referred to as for assist. But when he obtained out a couple of mile, Shrimper was gone, he mentioned.

Trying to find his location, Le took out his cellular phone, protected by a water-proof case – it had lower than 5% battery and was in airplane mode to preserve cost.

“I opened my phone and then all of a sudden, all the text messages came in,” Le mentioned. “The whole time I had no signal but in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, I had a signal.”

Don’t waste your time. He mentioned he screened his location on a map and texted a good friend. The cellphone died quickly after.

The good friend acquired the message and contacted the Coast Guard with the situation of the sailors.

The males did not comprehend it, however earlier than the miraculous textual content message went by way of, the Coast Guard was already on its method, Lieutenant Katy Caraway of Air Station New Orleans advised CNN Thursday. She was a co-pilot of a Jayhawk helicopter that helped rescue the boys.

Five minutes into his flight, Caraway mentioned he had acquired a radio broadcast that he may use the brand new data within the search. It took them 25 minutes to succeed in the situation they had been despatched in a textual content message.

Caraway mentioned that after 15 to twenty minutes of looking the water, a Coast Guard airplane pilot cruising 1,000 ft noticed a person waving by way of the water.

A Coast Guard Jayhawk aircrew treats rescued sailors for the wounded.

“Lee, he was the first survivor we picked up and he was really the one who got separated from the rest of his group as he tried to float on a shrimp boat for help,” Caraway advised CNN.

Caraway mentioned a rescue swimmer jumped from the helicopter and swam to test on the lay.

“He didn’t talk much at all,” she mentioned. “He was completely exhausted.”

Caraway moved into place, dropped the rescue basket and hoisted Ley as much as the helicopter.

This was concerning the time the helicopter crew heard that the opposite two sailors had been discovered a couple of mile away, Caraway mentioned. They went to the response boat for assist.

A Coast Guard Station Venice sailor treats two sailors for shark bites and hypothermia.

He mentioned Coast Guard sailor Andrew Stone was on a 45-foot response boat when the decision concerning the different two individuals got here.

“They were being harassed by sharks when we pulled over,” Stone mentioned.

Stone advised CNN on Tuesday that Nguyen was bleeding within the water, his fingers coated with the chunk of a blacktip shark, which was about 4 ft in size.

“His orange lifeguard was nearly cut in half by the fish,” Stone mentioned.

Stone first pulled Nguyen onto the boat.

Nguyen mentioned “today” with tears in her eyes, “I simply bear in mind him selecting me up, pulling me out of the water, ‘Wow, I made it.’

Stone mentioned petty officers Joshua McNally and Cooper Butcher pulled the opposite man out of the water.

“These individuals had been affected by very critical danger. They had been positively very dehydrated, hungry,” Stone mentioned.

When he was rescued on Sunday, the sailors had been additionally scorched within the solar and affected by hypothermia, he mentioned.

“The water temperature of the bay where they were,[was]78 degrees, which sounds hot, but anything below your body temperature will start robbing heat,” Stone mentioned.

He mentioned the Coast Guard reconnected the individuals pulled from the water with the LE, who had been already on the helicopter.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Katy Caraway reunites with survivors Fong Le, left and Luan Nguyen.

Coast Guard members practice for such incidents, however this rescue was something however extraordinary, Caraway mentioned.

“It’s almost impossible to find and recover people like this who have been in the water for a long time, who have been displaced from their ship without any communication,” Caraway mentioned. “It takes the cake for the rescue.”

“The chances of finding these individuals before text message,” Caraway mentioned, “were none slim. After text message, it was still very slim.”

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer escorts one of the rescued sailors to the University Medical Center in New Orleans.

In all, about 30 Coast Guard members had been concerned within the search effort.

“To convey these individuals house, it is one thing that we practice each week and function it as a textbook and really save three survivors…

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans is planning a gathering for survivors and all response items concerned within the rescue.

“I see it as doing my job,” Caraway mentioned. “I’m just glad they’ll be able to spend the rest of their lives with their families.”


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