Photo credit: Tyler Smith/ Eric Wagner
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Two Jacksonville, Florida teens are lucky to be alive after getting stranded at sea.
Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, both 17, were enjoying senior skip day at the beach on April 18. The two are students at Christ's Church Academy and have been friends since fourth grade.
Smith and Brown were swimming off of Vilano Beach, near St. Augustine, when they realized they were about 2 miles from shore and might not make it back.
Tyler tells Fox 35 that he and Heather fought the waves for two hours, becoming weak and tired. That's when he said they started praying to God.
It seemed their prayers were answered when Captain Eric Wagner and his crew found them. Wagner posted the encounter to his Facebook page.
"Nearly 2 miles out: over all the wind, waves, and engines, we thought we heard a desperate scream. 200 yards behind us we saw an arm flail over the swells."
Wagner wrote that the couple was too weak to climb aboard the boat themselves, so his crew pulled them to the swim deck.
"Both were shivering and pale, his lips were white. She was lucid, he seemed to be struggling to answer our questions but coherent."
Wagner called the Coast Guard as he took his boat, "The Amen," to their rescue. Wagner wrote that he had decided to bring his boat from Delray Beach to New Jersey that day, despite the rough waters.
Tyler and Heather were thankful for that decision.
"From us crying out to God, for Him to send someone for us to keep living and a boat named 'Amen,' there's no way that it wasn't Him," Tyler told Fox News.
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