To see the actual Coast Guard
search track for the rescue described in this article, as well as the
original newspaper clippings, photos
of the guys, and USCG report, see
this story online at
LIGHTS ON THE WATER
I was kicking off another attack of uncontrollable shaking — we were
getting hypothermic — when I saw something that looked a little
different from the other ships that had passed us by in the night.
There was a ship closing in on us. Finally it was close enough that I
could see its deck lights. Then, it looked like it was getting ready to
anchor! We watched for a few minutes, then talked excitedly about
trying to swim for it. But then we heard a loud rumble and the ship
started moving. We were so heartbroken that we didn’t even watch as
it passed. I was so weak that I could feel every beat of my heart and
knew it was just a matter of time before it would stop.
Joe and I turned back toward the ship as we heard what sounded
like screams. The ship was about a mile-and-a-half away, but we
could see it was lowering a lifeboat. Was it the other guys yelling? I
couldn’t make out the words. We watched the small lifeboat come
out, then turn around and head back to the ship. The fear that
they didn’t hear us was all we needed to gather the strength to start
screaming for help. The boat never turned back. We watched the
lifeboat being pulled back up the side of the ship. Our fears turned
to utter panic, and we continued screaming
and yelling, coordinating our cries for help.
D. David Jones lives in Northfield, New Jersey, with his wife and two
youngest sons. He now owns a 30-foot Wellcraft Scarab Sport and a
14-foot Walloo, works as a carpenter, and is co-authoring a book with
Art Higbee about the sinking experience he described in this article.