25-Year-Old Florida Man Speaks Out After Being Lost at Sea for Over 30 Hours

“I remember just looking at the land and physically noticing how fast the land is moving away from me,” Charlie Gregory says.

A 25-year-old man who was lost at sea has opened up about his story of survival.

Charlie Gregory took his aluminum boat off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida, to go fishing at three in the morning.

“I went out to the same spot I always go fish. Right on the inside of the jetties,” Gregory says.

Gregory had anchored his boat and threw a line into the waters when a large wave came towards him, causing the boat to overturn and rip away from the anchor. The receding water of the low tide then swept his boat out to sea. Gregory had lost his life jacket.

“After the first time that the boat flipped, I flipped the boat over, got in it. It was full of water, but I was able to crank the motor and run it for a moment and it just died out because it was flooded,” Gregory says. “I remember just looking at the land and physically noticing how fast the land is moving away from me.”

Other boats passed but Gregory went unnoticed. He says he was screaming from the top of his lungs, but no one ever saw him.

Gregory clung to his partially submerged boat as he got severely sunburned and covered in jellyfish stings. Gregory also says he saw sharks come up underneath his boat.

Gregory’s parents Raymond and Deborah became worried when the afternoon came, and Charlie had not returned home. Deborah called the Coast Guard, and a search was launched, but by nightfall, there was still no sign of Charlie.

“I was trying to just reconcile the fact that I may never see my kid again," Raymond says.

“I knew in my heart we were the parents of a deceased child,” Deborah says.

While at sea, Charlie heard the sound of a Coast Guard helicopter overhead and waved his hands, but they could not see him. 

“After about, watching the plane do like 20, 30 laps back and forth they all of a sudden just make a half loop and come straight back towards me,” Charlie says. “That was just the craziest moment, and I was like, ‘Oh my God like this is it, I don’t have to die out here.’”

After more than 30 hours lost at sea, Charlie was rescued. He was brought to shore where his parents were waiting on the dock.

Charlie was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for dehydration and sun poisoning.

“Went from my child is not on this earth anymore to he’s coming back home to us,” Deborah says.

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