"I can honestly say I never gave up hope. God had us in his hands the whole time," said 17-year-old Josh Long, who was rescued after a nearly weeklong ordeal at sea.
Long and his friend, 15-year-old Troy Driscoll, lost control of
their 14-ft. sailboat after high winds pushed them out to sea off the
coast of Charleston, S.C. on April 24. (A National Weather Service
warning had been issued.) The teens survived nearly a week on the open
ocean by eating jellyfish, drinking seawater – which actually advances
dehydration – and praying.
"I asked God, 'If it's your will that we not live, take us
home,'" Driscoll told the Associated Press. "'If not, send us a boat.'"
Though the friends spotted some passing boats during their time
adrift, no one spotted them until Saturday when a fishing boat called
Renegade noticed them. The friends were rescued off the North Carolina
coast, more than 100 miles from where they set out off South Carolina to
Severely sunburned, dehydrated and exhausted, but both boys, who
are from North Charleston, S.C., were recovering Monday at the Medical
University of South Carolina.
The boys said they huddled together at night for warmth and
spent their days searching for help, praying and singing hymns. Though
he was starving, Long refused to eat jellyfish, which Driscoll fished
out of the sea.
"I saw them in the water and ate two little strings off of one
and the next day I was fine," Driscoll said. "It was nasty and the
aftertaste made me nauseous."
The Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources searched
for the teens for several days but officials began referring to the
search as a recovery operation toward the end of the week.
"I was in the Navy for four years. I was out there and I couldn't see them surviving," said Troy's dad, Tony Driscoll.
The elder Driscoll was the first person to hear from the Coast
Guard that the boys had been found. "I screamed at the top of my lungs
that they've got our boys," he said. "God had his angels around those
boys the whole time."
Despite the ordeal, the teens they'll still go in the ocean. "I'll probably go out, but not anytime soon," Troy Driscoll said.
And it will be in a boat, Long added, "with a motor – or two motors."
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