Empire, LA

Three Friends Attacked By Sharks And Jelly Fish After Boat Capsized Were Saved By a Text Message

Jessey Anthony

Three men went missing after their fishing boat sank in the water near Empire, Louisiana. The three longtime friends went fishing like they’ve always done in a 24-foot center console boat at the gulf of Mexico.

Shortly after they began fishing, they were hit by a storm. Their boat crashed leaving the three men floating in the sea with the help of a makeshift raft made of two ice chests tied together with a bandana.

According to Phong Le, one of the three friends, the boat was tied to a nearby oil rig and started to get hit by large waves, causing the back of the boat to take on water.

"The minute we saw the back of the boat start taking on water, I knew it right then and there. It was like the perfect storm for the perfect accident,” Le told NBC.

When the boat crashed, they tried to swim to the oil rig to make a distress call, but they couldn’t make it there as they were attacked by a shark and other sea creatures.

Narrating his ordeal, Luan Nguyen, the second of the trio, says it was pretty scary as he fought the Shark while maintaining his balance on the raft.

"The shark hit the life vest, and I tried to push him off," Nguyen said. "He wouldn't go away so I jabbed him in his eyes. Put my thumbs in his eyes, and he took off.”

They floated in the water for over 24 hours in the dead of the night. Every 15 minutes they were stung by jellyfish.

"Good thing there was a full moon out so we had light, but we couldn't see. We could barely see anything. So we just drifted at night, " Nguyen said.

A team of 30 coast guard members was involved in the search. They searched about 1,250 square miles of water using boats, planes, and helicopters but found no sign of the missing men.

The coast rescue team came after they received a miraculous text about the men's location.

The next morning, Le swam five miles to a shrimp boat to call for help. Unfortunately, the boat left before he got get to it. Trying to figure out his location, Le pulled out his phone, protected by a waterproof cover from his life jacket, and was lucky to get a signal.

"I just opened up my phone to see my location. I opened up my Apple Maps to see where I'm at and it showed me my location," Le explained.

Good thing his phone was on airplane mode which helped preserve his battery. He had only 5% battery left so quickly took a screenshot of his location on a map and sent it to his friend with a text saying his boat sank and he was floating in the sea. His friend forwarded the message to Le's fiancée who contacted the coast guard team.

Speaking to CNN, Lt. Katy Caraway, a co-pilot of the helicopter that rescued the three friends said, "the likelihood of finding these individuals before the text message was slim to none. After the text message, it was still very slim."

The men were treated on the scene for shark bites and hypothermia before they were taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans. The trio reunited with their families after they got discharged from the hospital.

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Jessey Anthony is a fitness enthusiast with over 5 years experience in fitness and health career. She is also a content writer and an entrepreneur. http://www.marykay.com/oonyenezi

Texas City, TX

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