SAN DIEGO – Five men, including two local contestants from the reality television show “The Bachelorette,” are lucky to be alive after their fishing trip ended with their boat under water.
That ship sank 15 to 20 miles off the coast of San Diego. Luckily for those on board, two people found them and were able to bring them back to shore.
“It’s like being trapped and helpless because there’s no service, we weren’t able to send a distress signal at all, and the only thing you have out there is hope, hope that somebody finds you, hope that a helicopter flies over,” Aaron Schwartzman, who owned the boat, said to FOX 5 Monday.
He and his friends took to sea for a good day out in the sun, hoping to catch some fish, but soon found themselves stranded in water for three-and-a-half hours, about 15 miles from the coast.
“I finally bought the boat of my dreams, or so I thought, for it to sink on me,” Schwartzman said.
He and his friend Brayden Bowers met while filming the latest season of “The Bachelorette.”
“My buddy Gavin, he got his line stuck on the engine propeller, so Aaron just went to the back of the boat to lift the engine up and try and untangle it … all of a sudden, as soon as he stands on the swim deck … the boat literally just sunk,” Bowers said to FOX 5.
The group, fortunately, was made up of members in the fire service, dispatch and the military and were well aware of how to respond in a high intensity situation.
“We just tried to paddle to shore, so we linked arms and we kind of just started kicking,” said Bowers.
Less than a minute later, the vessel submerged the group made up of family and friends lost at sea.
“You think of the next steps …. but … what are the next steps when you’re 15 miles in the ocean, in a wind swell?” Schwartzman said.
Just before all hope was lost, came a boat.
Chris Keeran and his cousin TJ came to the rescue after spotting something reflective in the water while out fishing.
“For whatever reason, we came to look to see if it was holding fish and that’s when we saw the guys in the water,” TJ said.
The two noted that the choices they made Monday morning were out of the norm and the fact that they found the five was an act from above.
“We don’t consider ourselves heroes; we’re doing whatever any other fisherman would consider doing,” Keeran said. “I’m just so grateful by the grace of God, we actually did see something reflective. Just the things that had to add up just to get to them. I mean, once we did find them, that was our best catch of the day.”