Miraculous moment family spot diver son clinging to raft after losing boat and getting lost at sea
| Last updated
Incredible footage captures the moment a family spotted their son clinging to a raft after getting lost at sea while diving.
Watch the emotional clip here:
Dylan Gartenmayer, 22, was free diving 35ft off the coast of Florida last Thursday (19 January) when he was swept away by strong currents and became separated from his friends.
The current pushed him down to 150ft, leaving him stuck underwater for almost two minutes.
When the rest of the group realised he wasn’t resurfacing, they called the US Coast Guard for help, while Gartenmayer’s family also rushed out in another boat to join the rescue mission.
Amazingly, he was finally found about a mile away, clinging to a makeshift raft, with video footage showing the heartwarming moment he was reunited with his family.
Speaking to NBC6, Gartenmayer said he was struggling to hold his breath underwater for almost two minutes.
He ended up resurfacing about a mile away and swam over to a channel marker, clinging on to a piece of bamboo for dear life.
He said: “I got to a point where the boat had disappeared.
“From that point on I realised that things were starting to get serious.”
Gartenmayer then took three buoys from the reef and tied them together to create an emergency raft, adding: “I ended up cutting three of those from reef, tying up a little hammock.”
Not long after, he was thankfully spotted – a moment that was poignantly captured on video.
"I could hear a boat humming up behind me," Gartenmayer said.
It was his family, who were thrilled to see him bobbing along on a series of buoys.
His cousin, Priscilla Gartenmayer, recorded the moment he was finally pulled to safety and posted the now-viral footage to TikTok.
Explaining what happened on Facebook, she wrote: "Got a horrible phone call yesterday that Dyl had went diving and hadn’t been seen for two hours!
“After calling the fam together we hopped on the contender and had the scariest boat ride of our life out to his last-known coordinates.
"God was definitely on our side because as soon as we stopped running out and started looking, we spotted him right away at almost the exact coordinates we were given."
She added: "That second video was the moment we all laid eyes on him, I can't stop watching it.
"He's the smartest, most experienced diver I know on the water, he swam about two miles and before he lost his energy he grabbed three buoys and made a hammock for himself to float on!"