Three lucky fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard while fending off sharks after their boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico.
The men had become stranded after their 24-foot fishing boat went down at sea roughly 25 miles south of the small town of Empire, Louisiana- leaving them stranded in the water without any communication equipment for over 24 hours.
Family members eventually called the Coast Guard after they never returned home from their fishing trip, and when a rescue helicopter finally found them, two of the men were seen fending off sharks with their bare hands.
The Coast Guard stated that the two boaters were pulled from the water by the boat crew 'before additional injuries could occur'.
They were later treated for shark bites and are in a stable condition in hospital, after also being at risk of hypothermia.
The rescue footage showed the men in lifejackets floating in the sea.
One man was hoisted out of the water by a helicopter, while two others were pulled onto a rescue boat, US Coast Guard Station Venice said.
To track them down, the Coast Guard initiated a search of 1250 square miles- roughly the size of Rhode Island - before a sentry aircraft managed to spot the boaters in the water offshore.
A Coast Guard vessel managed to pick up two of the stranded fishermen around 7pm on Sunday, and according to a post on Facebook, they were rescued 'just in the nick of time'.
All three fishermen were wearing life jackets during their rescue, which the Coast Guard said probably ended up saving their lives.
"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," said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, a Coast Guard search and rescue mission coordinator in New Orleans.
As reported by Yahoo News, investigators have not revealed what had caused the fishing boat to sink.
Earlier this year, a scuba diver shared gruesome footage online of the moment a fellow diver was bitten by a shark during an excursion.
The footage, captured by diver Dan White in 2018, shows the moment a whitetip shark take a chunk out of a diver’s leg.
“I was recording the whitetip as I thought it was a cool encounter,” White said. “The day before we dove with three whitetips with no trouble at all.”
He added: “As I was filming I noticed that one of the outlet diver’s bubbles spooked the shark and it turned to investigate.
“The German diver’s buddy saw the shark attempting to have a cheeky nibble on Ian but failed to keep his eye on the shark as it rose to his level and bit his leg. His buddy wrestled the shark off of him, but by that point the damage was done.”
The man’s calf was ripped to shreds following the attack and narrowly avoided amputation after the animal had not only destroyed his calf muscle, but also bitten down to the bone.Featured Image Credit: US Coast Guard Station Venice
Topics: US News