Bruce Hackshaw, owner of a charter boat company, speaking of the rescue of his captain and first mate after they were in the ocean for over 20 hours.
The captain and first mate had been hired by Dan Suski and his sister Kate for a fishing trip off St. Lucia. As the boat hit rough seas, water rushed into the cabin and flooded the engine room, prompting the captain to radio for help as he yelled out their coordinates. The captain threw life jackets to the Suskis. “He said, ‘Jump out! Jump out!'” Kate Suski said. The Suskis obeyed and jumped into the water with the captain and first mate.
Less than five minutes later, the boat sank. The group was at least eight miles from shore, and waves more than twice their size tossed them. “The captain was telling us to stay together, and that help was on its way and that we needed to wait,” Kate Suski said. The group waited for about an hour, but no one came. “I was saying, ‘Let’s swim, let’s swim. If they’re coming, they will find us. We can’t just stay here,'” she recalled. As they began to swim, the Suskis lost sight of the captain and first mate amid the burgeoning swells. Soon after, they also lost sight of land amid the rain. It took them 14 hours to reach land. The captain and the first mate were found after being in the water for over 20 hours.
The brother and sister said they don’t blame anyone for the shipwreck.
“We are so grateful to be alive right now,” Kate Suski said. “Nothing can sort of puncture that bubble.”
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