NAPLES, Fla. - A cruise ship came to the rescue after a Naples man was forced to abandon a boat that was also his home.
Severe weather conditions near Cuba led to the close call Saturday.
Reunited with his wife Sunday, Wesley DeMott feels lucky to have a second chance at life. An intense rescue saved the lives of DeMott, his two friends, and cat smug.
A passenger aboard the Carnival Valor recorded the rescue from start to finish.
"By the time they got there, there were 2 800 pound water tanks had already come loose, the refrigerator came loose in the cabin," DeMott described. "The boat was starting to fall apart at least on the inside."
DeMott and his buddies were heading to Mexico to meet their wives for an unforgetable vacation.
Unforgetable it was, when a strong wind whipped up.
"We were about 30 or 40 miles north of Cuba," DeMott said. "We turned the boat toward Cuba, with the idea if it did pick more we would make it to port there."
Before leaving Fort Myers on Thursday, they checked the weather, and conditions were expected to be good. But they quickly found out, serious mistakes were made.
"Our failing was in towing the dinghy and not getting better weather facts."
Due to the high wind, the thick rope holding the dinghy snapped.
"UItimately it tangled in our boat rudder and it prevented our ability to maneuver," DeMott said.
A large wave almost tipped the boat over and DeMott decided it was time to abandon ship, the only home he and his wife had.
"It's difficult because you have everything you own on it," DeMott said. "Family photos, notes, letters."
After everything, DeMott calls it a "great adventure."
DeMott is a fiction writer, and his new book is about a man who is rescued by a cruise ship.