Stephen Lavelle said he and his friends go fishing all the time.
But even experienced boaters can run into trouble in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It was a very frightening moment. Everything was fine one moment, and next moment we looked back and the boats filled. And we don’t know what to do,” he said.
Lavelle said he and two others stayed closer to shore because of Sunday’s windy conditions.
But while they were moving parallel with the Skyway Bridge, the weather changed.
And their boat was overcome by the waves, eventually ending up overturned.
“We were just kind of worried for out lives at that point. First thing we did was we grabbed a smartphone that way we could call for help,” said Lavelle.
Florida Highway Patrol Corporal Jim Covert spotted the trouble and then got the attention of a good Samaritan.
David Teichman was wrapping up a kite surfing lesson and riding a jet ski.
He then motored out to the capsized boat, making three trips to bring everyone safely to shore.
‘It was an overwhelming relief feeling to see someone coming right toward us,” said Lavelle.
“They were in quite choppy waters. As far as they were, they looked in general distress. The fact that their boat is upside down and they are sitting on the bottom of it,” said Teichman.
The boaters are all ok.
And thankfully David was around to save them.
“We are super thankful for that. We are lucky to still be able to be here,” said Lavelle.
“Glad to help. Glad to assist at any point,” said Teichman.
The boat was eventually towed in.
And Lavelle said he looks forward to going out again when the water is little calmer.