There are few things more unpredictable than the open sea.
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Sixty-five-year-old Kevin Hyde of Cape May, New Jersey has been sailing his whole life. He recently invited his friend, Joe DiTommasso, along with Joe’s poodle, Minnie, on a sailing trip to Florida aboard his sailboat, the Atrevida II. The first leg of their journey went well, and they stopped for a break in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
That’s where things went wrong. The sailors had set sail from North Carolina and were on route to Florida when suddenly the skies darkened and they found themselves inside a massive storm at sea.
“I’ve never heard winds so bad my whole life!” Joe recalled. “Sounded like the devil was out there.”
As the ocean churned around them, the 50-foot mast of the sailboat broke off, leaving them with no way to control the vessel. Their radios didn’t work either, leaving them at the mercy of the stormy sea.
“We were just being pushed out to sea farther and farther,” said Kevin. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack in this situation, the waves were bigger than my boat.”
When Kevin and Joe’s families lost touch with them, they reported them missing to the Coast Guard. Soon, a full search was launched via air and sea, but rescuers weren’t even sure which direction to start looking for them.
Adrift for days with no mast, gas, or electricity, Kevin and Joe prayed for rescue. By the 10th day at sea, they were nearly out of water and feeling more desperate than ever.
“We didn’t have no more water left, nothing,” said Joe. “We were sucking water out of the waterlines. She just kept me alive, all’s I asked the Lord was to see my granddaughter.”
Just when it seemed that all was lost, they got help from the most unbelievable source: a massive international cargo ship called the Silver Muna that was traveling from Amsterdam to New York City. Incredibly, an attentive crew member spotted the tiny sailboat, which at that point had drifted to about 200 miles off the coast of Delaware.
Captain Neeraj Chaudhary was at the helm of the Silver Muna. Although they weren’t looking for the lost seamen, nor had they received any distress calls, he immediately stopped his ship and got to work hauling the exhausted sailors and their dog aboard the huge ship, which was no easy feat!
It took the Silver Muna crew about 3 hours to get Kevin, Joe, and Minnie aboard using a cargo net. They were hungry, dehydrated, and exhausted both physically and mentally, but otherwise unharmed.
Rescuing the men was emotional for all involved. Even the ship’s captain admitted he cried and thanked God when the men were pulled aboard his vessel. He feels he and his crew were sent to that particular part of the ocean specifically to save Kevin and Joe.
“God sent me to save them,” said Captain Chaudhary. “God sent our Silver Muna to save them.”
At the end of the day, Captain Chaudhary says helping other mariners is “our duty!” Whether it was divine intervention that brought the Silver Muna to Kevin and Joe’s rescue or not we can’t say, but either way we’re thrilled this story has a happy ending!
Share this story to thank the crew of the Silver Muna for being at the right place at the right time.
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