FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - Six men were rescued after their boat capsized 30 miles West of Sanibel Island this weekend. What started as a routine fishing trip quickly turned into a fight for survival.
Coast Guard officials say these men are lucky to be alive after their vessel reportedly took a large wave over the bow and caused the boat to capsize early Saturday morning. Unable to radio a distress call, the men took turns sitting on the hull of the boat.
Sea Tow Captain, Andrew Haupt, who often rescues boaters in situations like this said that's the right thing to do, "When we're looking for that boat, the easiest thing to do is just to grab a hold of that boat or climb on top of the hull and stay there."
After a night sitting in the water help arrived in the form of a good Samaritan in a passing sailboat. Coast Guard Official, Robert Wood said while they did the right thing by staying near the boat, there are other life-saving measures they could have taken.
"Had they filed a float plan and had emergency equipment on board, like an emergency-position indicating radio beacon, we would have been able to locate them quickly," Officer Wood said.
Once located, the men were transported by the Coast Guard back to the station and treated for minor cuts and hypothermia.
Haupt said another problem stranded boaters can run into is dehydration.
"Bring a cooler full of water, get into a shaded place, plenty of water throughout the day, everything should be fine," he said.
Officer Wod agreed saying, "The fact that they were all wearing life jackets and they stayed together with their boat increased their chances of staying alive."