- Three men were all plucked alive from the water and rushed to a hospital after being in the waters in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 24 hours
- Two of the three suffered shark bites to their hands, with one showing signs of hypothermia
- Two boaters were pulled from the water by a coastguard boat crew
- An aircrew also hoisted the third boater from the water
- Coast Guard reported the boaters 24-foot boat sank at approximately 10:00am
Three floundering fishermen were seen fighting off sharks with their bare hands after their boat submerged off of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Coast Guard launched a search off the Louisiana coastline after a relative reported how the three people had failed to return from a fishing trip on Saturday evening.
The 24-foot, center-console fishing boat sank about 10am on Saturday and stranded the three people without communication devices, the Coast Guard said.
Their dramatic rescue by sea and by air didn’t come for another 24 hours.
Dramatic footage from the rescue showed the men in lifejackets in the sea with one showing signs of hypothermia when they were rescued on Sunday about 25 miles offshore from Empire, Louisiana, a small community southeast of New Orleans.
They had been in the water for more than a day.
Coast Guard crews in two boats, two planes and a helicopter searched about 1,250 square miles of water, slightly larger than the size of the state of Rhode Island before they finally came across the trio.
The Coast Guard boat crew saw two of the people fending off sharks, and both of them had injured hands. Coast Guard rescues three people off the Louisiana coast
WATCH VIDEO: Coast Guard rescues three people off the Louisiana coast 🦈 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11300207/2-sunken-boat-fend-sharks-Coast-Guard-rescue.html#v-1926810315276858357
The crew pulled them from the water, and the two were lifted onto a helicopter. The helicopter crew lifted the third boater from the water.
The two injured people were taken to University Medical Center New Orleans, where they were listed as stable.
The Coast Guard did not release their names nor specify whether the injuries were from bites, from being scraped against sharks’ sandpaper-like skin or from another cause.
‘If the family member had not notified the Coast Guard, and if these three boaters were not wearing life jackets, this could’ve been a completely different outcome,’ said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, a Coast Guard search and rescue mission coordinator in New Orleans.