The sea can be a scary place for humans. There are few things more terrifying than being stuck in the water, no land in sight, terrified you’ll drown.
But sometimes, nature lends a hand, and friendly sea creatures will come to the aid of people in need.
That was the case for one stranded boater, who got some divine inspiration from a seal.
Scott Thompson, a boater from Southern California, was out on the Santa Barbara Channel on his boat, the Miss Grace. According to GoFundMe, Scott realized the weather wasn’t favorable and turned the boat back towards land.
But soon, a disaster occurred: the boat was rocked by the choppy water and Scott got knocked into the channel. Making things even worse, the boat, engines still running, continued on without him, making it impossible to swim back on board.
With only shorts and a t-shirt and no land in sight, Scott soon realized what a dire situation he was in. “I thought to myself, great, this is how I’m going to die,” Scott told ABC 7. “Today is the day I’m going to die.”
Scott swam onward, looking for a lifeline. He was motivated by the thought of seeing his family again, terrified of dying and leaving them alone.
But the water was freezing cold, it was pitch black, and a panicked Scott realized he was up against overwhelming odds. “The panic set in it was like, wow, this is a pretty heavy situation,” he said.
However, he soon got a nudge of support that gave him the strength to keep going.
A harbor seal went underneath him, and nudged him, “like a dog comes up and nudges your leg,” he told ABC.
He took the interaction as a divine sign, or at least the seal’s way of telling him to keep going after seeing how he was in distress.
The friendly seal’s support turned out to be just what he needed: with newfound resolve, he continued to swim, hoping for a miracle.
Defying all the odds, he swam through the dark, freezing water for five hours, until he finally reached an oil platform, according to GoFundMe.
Completely exhausted, he used his last remaining strength to pull himself up, and a crew found him and gave him much-needed medical attention.
“They thawed him out and warmed him up,” the fundraising page reads. “He is a legend as far as we’re concerned. It’s truly a miracle that he was able to survive all of the elements and the cold Pacific Ocean for that many hours.”
He spent the night in the hospital, and had hypothermia, rhabdomyolysis, and was dehydrated and covered in bruises and cuts. But now he is going to be fine: “He’s currently home with his family, sore exhausted, humbled and grateful… and just so happy to be alive.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to repair the damage to his boat, and currently has nearly $13,000 in donations.
What a miracle Scott survived. Never underestimate the power of the human spirit — or a little encouragement from a friendly animal.
Share this amazing story!