An unforgettable fishing tale

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For more than a week, three boaters from Texas were missing. They were miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico. Hopes of finding them alive dwindled day by day but then, something happened.

Exhausted, but safe — the three rescued fisherman took their first steps on dry land Saturday night.

“Our equilibrium was just way off, took us a while to stand up straight,” said Tressell Hawkins.

On August 21st Hawkins and two close friends from south Texas left Matagorda, a town outside of Houston, and went on an overnight fishing trip. Later that night Hawkins woke up to a boat full of water.

“I’m running around frantically trying to get everybody up and we’re trying to get the water out as fast as we can and within a minute… 5 seconds, the boat just tumbled over, it capsized right there,” said Hawkins.

For the next eight days, in punishing heat, the men sat and slept on the hull of the 23-foot boat. They survived only on crackers, chewing gum and whatever water they could suck out of the boat’s freshwater tank.

As the days passed the men relied on prayer and each other.

“We’re going to have to live, I mean we have too much to live for, our life is really not over with yet, I mean this is just a calling card to wake us up, not a calling card to take us out,” said Hawkins.

The coast guard launched a massive search covering more than 86-thousand square miles, roughly the size of Minnesota, before calling off the effort last Friday.

The next day, a sport fisherman came upon the missing crew — 180 miles from the coast.

“He said that he just spotted something real small in the water and grabbed his binoculars, and there we were, looked like 3 midgets standing in a boat, waving flags and jumping around,” said Hawkins.

For these men it will be an unforgettable fishing tale. One of the men’s wives calls it a “miracle.”