EXCLUSIVE: Brothers Stranded At Sea Share Story Of Survival
By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two brothers stranded at sea when their fishing boat capsized are sharing their incredible story of survival.
They didn’t think they were going to make it.
Their boat was sinking and they were miles out sea. As one brother put it, “I thought we were going to die.”
“I love my brother. I don’t tell him all the time, but I love you. We made it. We got a second chance,” survivor Ed Rust said.
It was Ed Rust who made the frantic call for help to the Coast Guard (see related story).
After being hit by six-foot waves, his boat The Flatty Express started taking on water and flipped over.
“We went down in less than 30 seconds,” he said.
Before the Coast Guard arrived, Bill and Ed Rust found themselves eight miles off the coast of Long Beach Island in the Atlantic.
For more than 30 agonizing minutes, they clung to these life preservers, not knowing if help was on the way.
“I thought we were going to die. It was over man,” Ed Rust said.
“My first thing was, you got to be kidding, really? This is the way it’s going to end? No,” Bill Rust said.
Avid fishermen, with more than 30 years experience, the two brothers knew they couldn’t last too long in the water.
Ed, who is from Cherry Hill, says fatigue quickly settled in.
“We were going up and over six-foot waves. I just kept looking out praying somebody would come,” he said.
Bill, who is from Beverly, tried to get them to conserve energy.
“I did my best to try and calm him down, because they last thing you want to do is panic,” he said.
Then seemingly out of nowhere, a fishing boat, the Jamaica II appeared.
The crew got wind of the mayday call Monday morning.
Through the rough seas they struggled to first pull Bill out of the water.
“I just kept getting slammed into the boat, I mean I don’t know how much more of that I could’ve taken,” he said.
Then the Coast Guard arrived, and as you can see in this Coast Guard video, they pulled Ed out of the water.
Both brothers were saved.
“Second chance man, second chance,” Ed Rust said.
Both brothers know they have that second chance thanks to the crew of the Jamaica II, the Coast Guard and an emergency distress beacon Ed had on his boat.
The brothers are now in the process of personally thanking everyone who saved them.