“Benny kept saying, ‘just one more fish just one more fish!” recalls Lorraine Caldwell of their fateful decision to stay out on the water late.
Caldwell, and two others, were out deep sea fishing Friday, April 15, when the boat ran out of gasoline.
Stranded, and with the sun going down, they called for a tow boat from Sea Tow, who came out, hooked up to them, and we about an hour into their return home when the tow boat suddenly broke down.
“In the process of trying to cut the vessel loose to go fix the problem, we took a couple waves over the side and rolled the boat right over,” explains Will Knight of Sea Tow.
Knight and his colleague were sitting on top of their capsized tow boat hoping the U.S. Coast Guard would get to them in time.
“It started getting a little cold there at the end,” says Knight, with a smile.
The U.S. Coast Guard says Knight’s preparations helped keep him alive.
“The fact that they had a radio, the fact that they knew where they were at, the fact that they had lifejackets on, a strobe light on one of their life jackets,” explains one of the U.S. Coast Guard rescue members.
Knight and his fellow crew member were rescued by helicopter.
Caldwell and her fellow boaters were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel a couple hours after that, as they began to experience symptoms of hypothermia.
“The Coast Guard, on a scale of a 1 to 10, they were a 12,” says Caldwell to ABC Action News. “The Coast Guard was awesome!”
In total 5 people were rescued during the operation, and the group of them came to the U.S. Coast Guard airfield in Clearwater to personally thank some of the people involved in their rescue.
You can watch the rescue by clicking HERE.