NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - A dramatic scene unfolded before our eyes today on WINK News at noon. Two sailors were on the Caloosahatchee when their small boat flipped. The boaters struggled to upright the boat in the strong waves eventually they drifted to shore.
"It was mostly when we went out there it wasn't nearly this bad. It was kind of not too windy and then as we started getting out there it kind of just hit us like a blast," said Austin Buonsignore.
Austin and Jackson are with the Edison Sailing Center. Thursday, they put their skills to the test and wrestled their sailboat back to the beach.
"I was up there and the jib got snagged so the wind was so strong we just flipped," said Jackson Jablonski.
At one point Jackson got separated from the boat. "I knew I was going to be ok but it was still a little bit scary at the time," he said.
Ross Webb, president of the Edison Sailing Center, says the young men are well trained to handle that kind of situation. "The first thing we do is take the boat out and capsize it therefore when they get into a situation where the boat accidentally capzizes they wont be so afraid," he said.
These two weren't the only ones who ended in the water. We met Bob Butterfield. He told us his boat collapsed out in the river. He didn't have a life jacket and swam 40 minutes back to safety.
"I'm fine, just started to swim hard into the current and that wasn't working out so I just took my time and trecked on in," he said. "My girlfriend said 'there's a tornado warning you shouldnt go.' I was already on my way! Oh well."
Butterfield borrowed WINK reporter Rachael Rafanelli's cell phone to call his girlfriend, and let her know he was alive. He says he doesn't regret going out in the storm, but is sad he lost his boat.