After spending more than 24 hours at sea off the coast of Florida, a man was rescued from a partially submerged jon boat, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Southeast, the boater, 25-year-old Charles Gregory, was last seen leaving in the 12-foot jon boat on Thursday night.
Gregory’s relatives informed the Coast Guard’s Jacksonville watchstanders on Friday evening that he hadn’t arrived at the Lighthouse Park Boat Ramp in St. Augustine, which sparked the search.
The U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release that an aircrew finally found Gregory Saturday morning “sitting in his partially submerged jon boat” 12 miles offshore of St. Augustine after searching all through the night.
According to a Coast Guard official, the rescue took place just before 10:40 a.m. on Saturday. The Coast Guard has now released video of the incident. As the jon boat filled with water, Gregory could be seen sitting inside and waving to the rescuers.
Gregory was rescued from his boat by a Coast Guard Cutter Coho boat crew, who then gave him to the Station Mayport boat crew.
He was taken to EMS at Vilano Beach Fishing Pier after returning to land, according to the Coast Guard.
According to the Coast Guard, there were no reported medical issues.
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His mother, Debra Gregory, expressed her gratitude to rescuers in a tearful interview with ABC Jacksonville affiliate WJXX after her son was brought ashore.
As the hours dragged on, his elated father admitted that he had initially lost hope and described the rescue as a “miracle.”
“I must never lose hope. Don’t give up on the big boy,” Raymond Gregory, his father, told WJXX.
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