Survivor Club

Rescue Map

Our electronics started failing

Name Joe von Thorn
Product Name RLB-35 CAT I.
Date of Rescue 05/13/2014
Saved By US Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Florida
Beacon Purchased From
Lives Saved 3

Went offshore in my boat with 2 friends for a regular day of fishing 30 miles from shore. We were anchored and fishing for a couple hours when a 10 foot sand tiger shark swam up next to the boat with a large cobia following. Soon the fish disappeared so we began searching for it around the sides of the boat. This is when I noticed an unusually large sum of water collecting in the splash platform next to the engines. 30 seconds later water started spilling onto the deck of the boat. We started bailing water. 30 seconds later the water was almost to our knees. I tried to start the engines. They were dead. Both the boats batteries were completely submerged in salt water. We kept bailing water, bailing water, bailing water. 2 minutes later. Our electronics started failing. I sent a distress message on the radio to surrounding boats. No response. I activated the EPIRB beacon, sending an emergency SOS to the coastguard. We kept bailing water, bailing water, bailing water. 5 minutes later. I reached went into the cabin of the boat to get a life raft. It was 3 feet deep in salt water. We were going sink 30 miles from anyone with sharks in the water, but no one panicked. We kept bailing water, bailing water, bailing water. 5 minutes later. It was inevitable that we were going to sink but for some reason John ran to the wheel to try to start an engine. It started. With the batteries submerged in salt water. Somehow. It started. Its impossible. I tried the other one. It started. By the grace of God. We cut the anchor rope and I hauled ass back to shore. The boat, completely full of water, somehow planed out. The water started to drain on its own. At this time, a coastguard heli was there to escort us the entire 2 hour ride in. If we would have gone in the water, all of us would have been unharmed thanks to the emergency distress sent to the Coast guard via our EPIRB. However, we made it. We lost some drinks, food, a hand held radio, and nothing else. We made it. I still can't believe it. By the grace of God we're alright. The next day command duty officer at Sector Jacksonville, Jeff Royer, was interviewed by USCG Newsroom regarding the event stating, "This incident showcases the importance of EPIRBs and VHF-FM marine radios," said Royer, "Cell phones don't typically work 30 miles offshore, so radios and EPIRBs are the fastest and most reliable tools to communicate to rescuers you're in trouble." An EPIRB was the life saving factor if it weren't for our miracle, I will never fish offshore again without having an ACR EPIRB.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You all are the reason lives are saved at sea. I cant believe how well your products worked and how quickly the response was. Thanks again. Bellow are news links of pictures, the mayday distress signal audio, and multiple articles. Feel free to edit the story or better incorporate the quotes. Thanks again.