(BOSTON) — Two New Hampshire men are thankful to be waking up on dry land Sunday morning after they spent 14 hours clinging onto a boat that had capsized in waters off Massachusetts.
George Reynolds and Fred Schaeffer were enjoying an afternoon on Reynolds’ 25-foot catamaran in Salem Sound outside of Boston on Friday when their boat somehow overturned in the water.
Their day quickly turned from peaceful to perilous. The men had no distress equipment or communication devices, and the one lifejacket they had between them managed to float away.
Still, Reynolds and Schaeffer knew their only chance at surviving was to keep calm.
“We knew it would be a long night, and we knew our best chance was to stay with the boat and not to panic,” Reynolds told ABC News’ Boston affiliate WCVB-TV.
Instead, the men said they relied on scripture to carry them through the dark evening, praying together to stay afloat.
Fourteen hours later, a good omen came their way. At daybreak on Saturday, fishermen who were passing by came to the rescue of the two men and called the Coast Guard for help.
“They were very cold. They were very thankful that we found them and that we took them in,” Eddie Pereira, who was captain of the rescue boat, told ABC News. “I could not imagine being out here for 14 hours the way they were. They were very brave.”
The men were treated at the scene and then released.
Salem Harbormaster Bill McHugh told WCVB-TV it was essential to always have proper equipment on board and wear a lifejacket at all times when out on the water.
“Life jackets should be worn, especially this time of year. Temperatures are only 58 degrees. The good news is — is that they were in remarkably good condition when they came out,” he said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Matt Egan, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN