Michael Arujo and his crew of fishermen aimed to catch as much salmon as possible in the Monterey Bay, but they ended up doing something much more important — they saved the lives of two teenagers.
The 16-year-old girls found themselves in need of rescue when they were swept out at sea with seemingly no one around to help. That ended up not being true, of course, but even the help they did receive didn’t come around for nearly 30 minutes.
In fact, Michael and the rest of his group almost didn’t see them either. They had been fishing for quite a while but, instead of going home, they decided to stay around for just a bit longer, a decision that quite literally saved these girls’ lives.
When these kind fishermen first spotted the girls, they mistook them for otters bobbing in the water. But as soon as they recognized that they were humans in desperate need of help, they didn’t hesitate to rescue them ASAP.
“Thank God we were there because there was nobody behind us, and there was no boats coming out,” boat captain Michael said. “It would have took about at least half an hour to get there, and in that water, you can’t last 10 minutes.”
For 30 minutes, these teens worked hard to stay afloat while also keeping each other warm in the 53 degree water, leaving them absolutely exhausted.
“Oh my God, the poor little girls,” he said. “I grabbed the first girl and helped her up, she was so cold, and she collapsed on the deck.”
Once they were finally safe on the boat, the two of them continued to huddle together to keep warm. Still, despite everything these teens went through, they didn’t need to seek medical care. Something that likely wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for Michael and his crew being at the right place at the right time.
“I mean, neither one of them could stand up when they got on the boat,” fisherman Bill Weilbacher said. “And you know, the one young lady said she couldn’t feel her legs. So, everything worked out as well as it possibly could have, and the stars really aligned for them, and for us, quite honestly. It was just a wonderful experience.”
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