Friday, April 26, 2013

8-miles away from land with daunting swells a brother & sister take 7-to-12-hours to swim to shore after their fishing boat sinks.

A brother and sister are on a fishing trip in Puerto Rico and in the middle of their struggle to reel in a marlin their chartered boat begins to take on water. It's pretty bad and it's near sundown, the best the captain can do is radio in their GPS coordinates but within 5-minutes of the distress call the boat is gone.

The captain advises that they all remain in a group as they float helplessly at sea and within an hour of the distress call a rescue helicopter flies overhead but the misses locating the crew and passengers due to the waning light. Consequently the helicopter is forced to head back to shore.

It's dark and now everybody is officially stranded 8-miles out like the 2003 film, Open Water. If you saw the movie which was loosely based on actual events then you know that it does not end well.

The captain continues to argue that the group should stay together, a logical argument, but who wants to spend 12-hours in darkness when land is in sight. Hence, Dan Suski and sister Kate Suski decide to swim in.

AP reports that the swells were twice as tall as they were but I find that unlikely since 10-foot seas or so would be be a serious small craft advisory and vessels such as theirs would have never left shore.  Nonetheless, I suspect the swells sure looked that way when they were swimming for their lives.

Somewhere between 7-to-12-hours later the couple makes it to shore but the swim in isn't easy. Their initial contact with land had them swimming towards steep cliffs and they were forced to swim some more till they found a small, rugged, beach safe enough to swim in. Once safely secured in a hospital they were tended too and releases. Later they found out that the captain and the crew were rescued some 23-hours after the sinking.

Was Dan Suski and sister Kate Suski wise to make a go of it? The result says yes. However, if any of us were faced with the same circumstance, should we take that same opportunity and our swim skill sets and do likewise? I would have for when faced with floating in an ocean for 12-hours plus when I could swim in to shore in well under 5-hours depending on conditions, I too would opt in for the swim.  

Here is a link to the AP article chronicling the events written above: [Link]

No comments: