Lake Wind Advisory issued November 26 at 4:11AM EST expiring November 26 at 7:00PM EST in effect for: DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Pinellas, Polk, Sumter
Lisa Gryb had never prayed so much in her life.
“I prayed to get back to my kids,” the Hudson resident said. “I prayed to send us some kind of angel, a dolphin, to help me go back to shore.”
What started off as just another fishing trip for Gryb and her boyfriend, Richard Todd, turned into a life or death struggle.
The couple was out fishing in the Gulf of Mexico about seven miles from shore on Sunday afternoon in a 14-foot boat when the weather turned ugly.
Rain, wind and waves battered their boat.
"When he told me that we need to say a prayer, I looked back,” Gryb said. “I saw that water, and then it went down."
The boat disappeared. All that Gryb said the couple had to cling to was a water cooler because the life jackets floated away.
"You just feel like your life is going to end right there,” she said.
Gryb prayed that the cooler wouldn’t fill with water and sink.
"I was pushing and kicking with my legs, and he was pulling and trying to swim,” she said. “It just wasn't working. We weren't going anywhere."
Gryb’s quick thinking as the boat sank helped save the couple. She had grabbed a waterproof box that held her cellphone.
The couple rode out the bad weather for more than two hours. When the waves died down, Gryb took out the phone and called 911. The call led authorities right to them.
"I don't even want to go out on a boat for a while,” Gryb said. “I can tell you that right now."
One lesson the Sheriff’s Office hopes everyone can take away from this: Besides always wearing your lifejacket, taking a 14-foot boat out seven miles from shore is a bad idea.