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VIDEO: Missing boaters survive 28 hours in open ocean and terrifying shark attack 

A day after their boat sank, sharks showed up and started circling their float made out of two ice chests tied together

October 12, 2022 5:59am

Updated: October 12, 2022 10:54am

Three anglers were left to fend off for themselves in the open water after their boat capsized and had to cling to an improvised float while fighting off sharks. 

The men had been in the water since about 10 a.m. on Saturday after their boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico. 

One of the three anglers, Phong Le, swam for miles to try to attempt to find a cellphone signal. Eventually, he was able to send a Google map of his location just before his battery died, he told ABC News on Tuesday. 

While Le was successful at sending their location, the other two men were not so lucky. By Sunday morning, sharks showed up and started circling their float made out of two ice chests tied together. Luan Nguyen said one of the sharks even bit the front of his life vest. 

“And I think that’s where I caught ... these injuries on my hand,” said Nguyen. “I took my two thumbs and jabbed him in the eyes, and he took off.”

Even as the Coast Guard boat arrived at the location, the two men were still being circled by four blacktip sharks measuring about 4 to 6 feet long, said Andrew Stone, a man onboard the Coast Guard boat crew that rescued the men. 

By the time the Coast Guard arrived at the location, about 25 miles off the coast of Empire, Louisiana, the men had been in the water for more than 28 hours. 

“They were too tired to even be panicking,” he told The Associated Press. 

The boat crew pulled the two men out of the water and transported them to a hospital via helicopter. The third boater was lifted from the water. All three were in stable condition, although two had hand injuries and one was showing signs of hypothermia.