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Florida Man Rescued After Spending Two Days at Sea Surrounded by Sharks

The man was severely dehydrated, sunburned and stung by jellyfish. He says the thought of seeing his parents again kept him going.

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JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — A Florida man was rescued after spending two days stranded alone in the Atlantic Ocean.

U.S. Coast Guard crews safely returned Charlie Gregory to shore on Saturday after the 25-year-old spent more than 48 hours lost at sea 12 miles off the coast of St. Augustine.

Gregory’s family reported him missing on Thursday after he failed to return home after taking his boat out fishing for the day.

A Coast Guard aircrew spotted Gregory on Saturday morning, sitting in his partially submerged jon boat. Shortly after being spotted, a Coast Guard boat reached Gregory and brought him to Mayport Naval Station before handing him off to EMS at the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier.

No medical concerns were reported, but News4Jax reported that Gregory was stung by jellyfish and spotted numerous sharks while he drifted in the ocean. Gregory told his mother that the thought of seeing his parents again gave him hope to endure the life-threatening circumstances he found himself in.

“While this case resulted in rescuing Charles from a life-threatening situation, it highlights the importance of having safety gear onboard and being prepared for the worst,” Coast Guard rescue mission coordinator Nick Barrow said. “If you plan to head out on the water, remember to have a life jacket, VHF marine grade radio, signaling devices and an emergency personal locator beacon to contact first responders in case you are in need of assistance.”