Two siblings are lucky to be alive today after the charter boat they were on sank out from under them. San Franciscan Dan Suski, 30, and his Seattlite sister Kate, 39, had chartered a fishing boat off the north coast of St. Lucia last Sunday, and Dan was busily reeling in a big marlin when water apparently flooded the cabin and engine room. According to news reports quoting the pair, the captain threw them some PFDs and told them to jump overboard. Within a few minutes of entering the water, the boat was gone. They were eight miles from shore.
The captain had radioed for help before abandoning ship and implored everyone to stay together, but after about an hour of treading water, the Suskis were anxious to get moving. "[He] kept telling us to stay together; that help was on its way and we needed to wait," Kate Suski said. "I was saying, ‘Let’s swim, let’s swim. If they’re coming, they’ll find us. We can’t just stay here."
Against the captain’s recommendation, the Suskis started a long and arduous 14-hour swim for shore. At some point during the swim, they saw a plane and helo hovering near the area but they weren’t spotted. Miraculously, they made it to a spit of land and found help. The captain and mate were reportedly rescued after the owner of the charter company used the Suskis’ landing spot to get a line of bearing to track them down. The crew spent 23 hours in the water.