Coast Guard Rescues Fishermen From Sunken Boat Filmed Using Bare Hands To Fight Off Sharks

by Lauren Boisvert
(Image Credit: Dan Cardiff/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the US Coast Guard rescued three fishermen off the coast of Louisiana when their boat sank. Not only that, but the men also had to fight off sharks with their bare hands.

The fishing vessel sank in the Gulf of Mexico 25 miles off the coast of Empire, Louisiana. Two of the fishermen sustained shark bites on their hands, while the third showed signs of hypothermia. The Coast Guard extracted all three safely from the water and rushed them to the nearest hospital.

The boat was reported missing late on Saturday, Oct. 8, and it was later revealed that the boat sank around 10 am that day. The men were in the water for more than a day. A Coast Guard helicopter spotted them and sent a rescue boat to the scene, which “witnessed two of the boaters fending off sharks, along with injuries to both boater’s hands.”

“The two boaters were pulled from the water by the boat crew before additional injuries could occur,” officials reported. The helicopter extracted the third boater and airlifted the three to University Medical Center New Orleans. They were reportedly in stable condition as of Oct. 10.

“We searched an area roughly the size of Rhode Island and are thankful to have found these missing boaters,” said Lt. Commander Kevin Keefe in a statement.

“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. We appreciate the assistance of the boating public, who were instrumental in helping identify possible areas where these boaters could have been operating before the vessel became in distress.”

Eight People Rescued After Five Boats Capsize On Lake Michigan

On Oct. 6, crews rescued a total of eight people from Lake Michigan after their boats capsized on the lake. Evanston, Illinois Fire Chief Paul Polep reported that everyone was accounted for after the rescues. Additionally, there were no injuries, and some people managed to swim to shore on their own.

Two of the boats were reportedly from the Northwestern University Sailing Club. The others were allegedly personal recreational vessels. The incident occurred near Clark Street Beach and the Dempster Street Boat Launch at around 5 pm.

The weather suddenly turned on the lake in the evening, surprising the boaters on the water. “The lake kind of flipped on us and capsized some boats. Multiple people in the water. We had a full water response,” Polep reported. A lifeguard on duty directed rescue teams to the areas where people needed help.

Winds picked up significantly, apparently launching a windsurfer off the dock and into the lake. Because the waves were massive and the weather turned dreadful, rescue crews stated that it was “fortunate” that no one was injured.

“It was quite a bit of swimming, quite a bit of effort on all the people out,” said Polep.