Two boats in distress, five men swim to safety - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Two boats in distress, five men swim to safety

Five people had to swim to safety Friday morning when two boats overturned in the Gulfport Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX) Five people had to swim to safety Friday morning when two boats overturned in the Gulfport Harbor. (Photo source: WLOX)
Luckily, no one was injured in either incident. (Photo source: WLOX) Luckily, no one was injured in either incident. (Photo source: WLOX)
According to Gulfport Fire officials, the boats capsized in rough seas on the southwest side of the port. (Photo source: WLOX) According to Gulfport Fire officials, the boats capsized in rough seas on the southwest side of the port. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

What started out as a nice day on the water Friday morning quickly turned into rough seas. Waves pounded into two vessels and sent the Coast Guard out to help.

Buddy Hall and three friends were in his 26 foot boat.

"The waves drowned out the motor and it filled up with water and we were calling 911," Hall said.

The men set out Friday to catch some fish, but found themselves making a frantic call for help.

"We were going to come back in before the weather got bad, and we were backing up and a strong wind pushed a wave over the back of the boat," Hall said.

Water was overtaking Hall's boat and they needed help fast.

"We were calling 911 to get the Coast Guard, and 911, for over 10 minutes, told us they can't find the number to the Coast Guard," Hall said. "The boat flipped over, so we had to jump out."

Hall's friends started swimming to shore.

"I was worried about everybody with us," Hall said. "I stayed with the boat. Even as it was going under, I was holding on to it."

Eventually, Hall had to let go and swim to safety. Luckily, the men were about 15 feet from the Port of Gulfport.

"All these construction workers were really great," Hall said. "There was about 30 of them that came down there and helped us. We swam to the rocks and all these workers helped get us over the rocks."

Lex Galle works security at the Port and rushed over when he heard a boat capsized.

"They were cold, they were wet, shaken up, you know. It was just really scary for them," Galle said.

Galle said it is a blessing everyone was safe.

"All the construction going on, all the new rocks they are putting out, new seawalls, the potential for something bad to happen was there. The weather came in real quick, capsized them, and they didn't really have time to think," Galle said. "We are just glad everyone is alright."

Hall said he is thankful. But as he stood barefoot and wet waiting for someone to pick him up, he got a little choked up.

"I just bought the boat a couple of days ago," Hall said.

While Coast Guard crews were looking for Hall's boat, they found another boat taking in water. That boat owner was also able to swim to safety.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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