Like a scene straight from the movie “Jaws”, The U.S. Coast Guard witnessed a terrifying scene. The Coast Guard found the crew of a sunken fishing boat fighting off sharks in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Three men were rescued, found alive, and rushed to a hospital, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
Two of the three men endured shark bites to their hands, and one was showing signs of hypothermia, officials said.
The identities of the men have not been released.
The rescue took place 25 miles off the shore in Empire, Louisiana. The Coast Guard was searching for the missing fishing boat late Saturday on October 8th.
It was later reported that the 24-foot boat had sunk around 10 a.m Saturday morning. This meant that the three-man crew was stranded in the water for more than 24 hours, officials said.
A Coast Guard helicopter spotted the men Sunday, and a rescue boat “arrived on scene and witnessed two of the boaters fending off sharks, along with injuries to both boater’s hands.”
Officials said, “The two boaters were pulled from the water by the boat crew before additional injuries could occur.”
They continued saying that the third man was “hoisted” from the water by helicopter.
The Jayhawk helicopter took the three exhausted and wounded men to the University Medical Center in New Orleans, “where the boaters were reported in stable condition,” officials said.
Lt. Commander Kevin Keefe said in a press release, “We searched an area roughly the size of Rhode Island and are thankful to have found these missing boaters.”
“If the family member had not notified the Coast Guard, and if these three boaters were not wearing life jackets, this could’ve been a completely different outcome. We appreciate the assistance of the boating public, who were instrumental in helping identify possible areas where these boaters could have been operating before the vessel became in distress,” he continued.
The cause of the sunken boat has not been released as of yet.