2 men rescued by Coast Guard hours after boat capsizes off Florida

Fishermen say dolphins swam around them as they waited for rescue when boat capsized.
By Frances Burns   |   May 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM
| License Photo

FORT PIERCE, Fla., May 6 (UPI) -- Two Florida men who spent a night on their capsized boat said they knew they were going to survive after they saw a Coast Guard plane above them.

A short time later, Justyn Bradley and Cory Bowman were picked up Monday morning by a charter fishing boat. By that time, they had been drifting for 17 hours and were 12 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Bradley, 37, from Jupiter on the east coast of Florida and Bowman, 38, from nearby Tequesta said their 21-foot boat was hit by a wave at about 4 p.m. Sunday.

"It pitched my buddy Justyn 30 feet out of the boat, it literally just catapulted him," Bowman told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "This thing was just, I've never seen one that sharp, that tall. It was ridiculous."

The Coast Guard launched a search when the two were reported overdue but had to suspend it during the night. It resumed Monday morning and a C-130 spotted the capsized boat and its pilot notified Capt. Tris Kolket of Last Mango Sportfishing Charters of Fort Pierce, who was out in his own boat with a group.

Bowman and Bradley said they spent an uncomfortable night, although under other circumstances it might have been beautiful. Dolphins swam around the boat and phosphorescent plankton glowed in the water.

They even had food and water because Bowman swam under the boat to get their cooler and two life jackets. Then, at about 8:30 a.m. they saw the C-130 overhead and knew help was on the way.

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