Safety experts applaud two boaters who were stranded at sea for three days

They washed up on shore in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Michael Ayres and Steffon Moore are safe after spending three days adrift at sea.

They were on the water since Saturday , after debris sunk their 41-foot boat.

"All of a sudden, you realize, this is not coming out of this. We have to abandon this ship. And all we have is a dinghy," said Ayres.

Somewhere between the Keys and the Bahamas, they grabbed bottles of water and bags of cookies and crackers and were thankful they were at least prepared that much.

"You might be the best boater in the entire world, but mother nature is mother nature," said Anna Stewart, a drowning prevention specialist for Palm Beach County.

She says what happened to Ayres and Moore is proof that surviving the unexpected doesn't have to be a miracle.

They were safe, not sorry, because they had food and water on the first boat, and even had flares on hand, although no one spotted them.

"My recommendation is that if you go in a boat, put these items in a bag or a container that is waterproof," said Stewart.

Plus, she says their story is a great reminder to always leave a "float plan" with someone you trust.

It should say who's on the boat, where you're going, and when you expect to be back.

It should be left with the Coast Guard or a relative.

"If you're not back by a certain time, then a responsible party can notify the authorities that someone is missing," said Stewart.

The two men rowed as hard as they could for days until they found land.

A survival story, because they put themselves in the position to survive.

"We rowed the boat backwards, because that was the only way to row the small craft, that was the only way to go up the waves, like a little bobber. The waves were so big," said Ayres.

Both men were released from the hospital on Tuesday.

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