From: Sailors Rescued From Sea Had Drifted More Than 200 Miles South Of Carribean Island - wjz.com
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - For Kirk Ezell, Christmas Day turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime. Instead of celebrating with friends and family, he found himself clinging to a life raft no bigger than a child's pool.
On Christmas day, he was two-hundred miles south of the Caribbean Island on a boat with a single crew member.
Early Christmas morning they woke up to ankle deep water inside the boat, CBS station KYW-TV reported.
That's when Ezell and his shipmate sent out an emergency beacon and began inflating a survival raft.
After loading the raft with everything they could salvage, they noticed the floor of the life raft was gone.
"Everything we had put in it had either floated away of sank. We kind of looked at each other and said, 'What do we do now?'" Ezell said.
All they could do was wait for six hours on a sinking boat hoping someone heard their SOS. Eventually, a coast guard plane spotted them.
It then dropped a new life raft and radioed for help.
A few miles away, the Captain of the Fuji Bay freighter decided to deviate from the normal course. It was a decision that may have saved Ezell from doom.
They pulled Ezell and his crew to safety and, like the rest of the ships cargo, Ezell was dropped off in Philadelphia on New Years Eve with nothing but the clothes on his back, and a heck of a story to tell.
"People in Philadelphia are very nice. Once they hear what's we've been through, they were even nicer," said Ezell.