Two Hancock Co. fishermen found off Louisiana's coast

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It is a happy ending Kyle Sick worried would never come true.

"I didn't think I was coming back," Sick said.

Sick and John Cuevas set out from Bay St. Louis on a fishing trip to Chandeleur Island Wednesday morning at 11:30 but the fun trip quickly turned into a nightmare.

"The boat anchor shackle came undone when we were going floundering," Sick said.

In just minutes the boat drifted away.

"I tried swimming after it but I couldn't get to it," Sick said.

He felt like he was going to drown so he swam back to shore.

That is when their survival instincts kicked in.

Sick said, "We found a bottle of water on there that's what we drank over the past few days."

They also turned sea shells upside down to catch the water if it rained.

The two fishermen swam and walked around the island looking for help but only saw sharks.

Soaking wet, with nothing to keep warm, the men dug trenches in the sand to sleep in.

"The wind was blowing so bad and we were sunburned so we did it to get out of the wind we just dug it so we could get down so the wind wasn't blowing on us," Sick said.

Back home in South Mississippi the mens' loved ones began to worry when they did not return for Cuevas to go to work Thursday evening.

That is when Coast Guard officials took off on boats and a helicopter to search for them.

Petty Officer Clint Cavender said, "We were about 11 miles north of the closest island and we got word from the Coast Guard Casa from Aviation Center Mobile spotted someone waving a flag on the beach and they had the word "HELP" on the beach."

When Sick and Cuevas saw the rescue boats they swam to safety.

"They started going into survival or panic mood and they were coming out," Cavender said. "They were swimming strong, they were swimming good. We got them all the way to our boat on board and they were doing everything except hugs and kisses, I'll tell you that."

More than 30 hours after setting out for a fishing adventure, Sick and Cuevas were back on shore with their loved ones.

Sick said, "Thank God, they saved our lives."

As for Sick's boat, it was finally tracked down and brought back to shore Thursday morning.

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