SOUTHPORT, N.C. — Two teenagers lost at sea for six days without food or fresh water were spotted by fishermen clinging to their small sailboat more than 100 miles from where they started, the Coast Guard said.
The boys said they quenched their thirst with seawater and slipped into the ocean to cool off, but sharks chased them back onto the boat. At night, they traded a single wetsuit back and forth to keep warm.
"I asked God to take me," said 15-year-old Troy Driscoll from the hospital Sunday. "You're out there fighting for your life. We didn't want to fight anymore."
Driscoll and his best friend, 17-year-old Josh Long, were spotted Saturday about seven miles off Cape Fear -- six days and more than 100 miles from where they had put in off Sullivan's Island, S.C., on April 24. The boys were sunburned, dehydrated and exhausted, but otherwise in pretty good shape.
"We were praying for a miracle and we got one," said Charleston Coast Guard Cmdr. June Ryan.
Shane Coker said the first thing he would do was hug his little brother Troy -- "then I'm gonna hit him and let him know how much he made us worry."
The teens set out on a 14-foot sailboat on a blustery day when the National Weather Service warned small boats to stay off the water.
The two realized they were in trouble almost immediately and tried to swim to shore, pulling the boat along with them.
Within hours, they had been blown out to sea.
"We lost our tackle the second day," Driscoll told one of his relatives on the phone. "So we couldn't catch any fish."
The boys' hope waned as the week wore on. Every time they saw a boat, they would wave their paddles and yell.
One night they were awakened by water splashing in their faces and found a large container ship passing near them.
At one point, the teens said they thought they had drifted across the Atlantic Ocean and were close to Africa. Instead, they were about 111 miles north -- well outside the Coast Guard's search grid -- but close enough to spot one more fishing boat.
They got up and made some noise. This time, they were heard.
The boys said they did not remember much about their rescue, but recalled that the fishermen asked what they wanted to do with the sailboat.
"We told them we didn't want to see it again," Long said.