Men swam for hours pulling broken jet skis in Suffolk

Two men had to swim 7 miles to safety after their jet skis died.

SUFFOLK, Va. ( WVEC) -- Two missing men have been found after they swam for several hours while pulling jet skis Sunday night.

Suffolk fire and rescue crews responded just after midnight to assist in finding two jet skiers who had been reported missing.

The two men from Suffolk and Chesapeake, aged 35 and 50, hadn't returned from their planned trip to the Monitor Merrimack Bridge Tunnel.

They left from the 2800 block of North Shore Drive around 6:30 p.m.

The 35-year-old man, Brian Sawyer, told 13News Now they experienced problems throughout the night after his jet ski died.

"We just had a series of things happen. They were things that never happen and they happened all at the same time," said Sawyer.

He said they used his friend's jet ski to pull Sawyer's, but it ran out of gas. After they siphoned gas from his dead jet ski to his friend's, the second jet ski later experienced mechanical problems and died. The ropes they brought with them also broke.

"We were swimming. We just had one hand on the ski and using the other hand to swim. We'd switch it up, sometimes get on the back and paddle, kicking our legs," he said.

Their families contacted the United States Coast Guard, who launched a helicopter and boat to search for missing jet skiers.

The men were able to leave their jet skis and get to shore at the former Bennett's Creek Restaurant on the 3300 block of Ferry Road. From there the men walked to the Fresh Farm on Bridge Road.

The men were able to to use someone's cell phone to contact their family.

They both received emergency medical assessments, but did not require medical transportation.

Sawyer said they didn't have cell phones with them because one jet ski's drybox was broken and the other didn't have one yet. Both men were wearing life jackets.

"First off, the main reason we're okay is God's good and we're blessed but the other reason is we were prepared and we had a plan," Sawyer told 13News Now.

 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment