The Beaufort County man, who was rescued from a fishing boat that capsized off the Maryland coast, talked about how he almost lost his life.
"[It was the] biggest wave I've ever seen. When it caught us, that was it, it was over," said Patrick Small, who lives in the town of Bath. "Fifteen seconds and our boat was in pieces."
Small was one of three men aboard the 67-foot fishing boat, Seafarer, when it sent out a distress signal at about 10:39 a.m. Wednesday, 15 miles east of Assateague Island, MD. The two other crew members, 80-year-old Walter Tate and his nephew, 60-year-old Stephen Tate, both of Pamlico Beach, are still missing.
Small said there was no time to prepare for what happened.
"The wave crested and came out and smashed our side and it started filling up with water," Small said. "The water had me pinned to the roof and a second later, the pressure just ripped the roof off and pummeled the cabin, washed me out onto the back."
The Coast Guard found Small clinging to a raft, and was able to hoist him to safety on Wednesday. But Small said staying alive was not easy.
"The nurse told me I shouldn't have lasted 45 minutes in that water. I was in it for about an hour and a half before I could get a life raft," Small said. "If I wasn't out there and it happened to me, I wouldn't believe the stuff that I was telling you."
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National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.