A family in Key West, Florida, is grateful after a terrible situation turned into a positive one on Thursday.
Twenty-two-year-old Dylan Gartenmayer disappeared for several hours at sea when he got caught up in the Gulf Stream current, NBC Miami reported Sunday.
The young man has been diving and spearfishing since he was a child, and his Facebook page features images of him enjoying the water and holding up his many catches.
“And I do a lot of deep free diving, so I like to go over 100 plus feet on a single breath,” he noted.
While free diving Thursday, his friends watched over him from their boat. However, conditions were getting worse, so the group decided to start home.
Dylan wanted to do one more dive and was down approximately 35 feet when the current grabbed hold of him and took the young man deeper, about 150 feet.
Dylan resurfaced nearly one mile away from his original location and swam toward a channel marker. At the time, he was holding onto a piece of bamboo he spotted drifting by him.
As he watched the Coast Guard search for him in the distance, family members were on their way to rescue him.
“After calling the fam together we hopped on the contender and had the scariest boat ride of our life out to his last known coordinates,” a relative, Priscilla Gartenmayer, explained in a social media post.
When a friend noticed buoys that appeared to be tied together, a contraption Dylan made for a makeshift raft, they eventually found the young man.
“God was definitely on our side because as soon as we stopped running out and started looking, we spotted him right away at almost the exact coordinates we were given,” Priscilla wrote in her post, adding he is “the smartest most experienced diver” she knows.
Read the full story here.