A pleasure cruise turned into a nightmare for one Florida couple when high winds and rough waters disabled their sailboat. After being stranded at sea for nearly a month, Marty Widrick and Sven Karrlson are back on dry land and speaking with Inside Edition about the ordeal.
It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime — sailing to the Caribbean island of St. Barts, renowned for its sun-kissed beaches and vacationing celebrities.
“It was going to be my first time sailing. I was really excited about it. I had never been to St. Barts,” Widrick said.
But a day after setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale, disaster struck.
“Water sloshing everywhere. The seas were so big that everything is flying from everywhere, so we have glass breaking. It was a mess!” Widrick said.
The storm left their sails torn and jammed. With their radio antenna broken, their mayday calls went unanswered. They were quickly running out of fuel.
“I was nervous, but I’m not a person that cowers ‘cause I'm scared. I step up and I do what I need to do,” Widrick said.
Then, a 60-foot wave slammed into the boat.
“It hit and the entire boat ended up falling forward. The mast fell to the water. I'm holding onto the wheel with all my strength,” Widrick said.
Fearing the worst, she wrote her daughter a farewell letter.
“Everything seems to be against us. How can so many things go wrong and continue to?” it said.
Unfortunately, more things did go wrong. As they turned back to Florida, a giant water spout came right at them with the force of a tornado.
“We were going in circles for over an hour at over a 100 mile an hour winds,” Widrick said.
After 28 days at sea, they finally made it back to land. The couple says they have not given up on sailing and are planning a trip to Europe next year.