WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Stranded at sea for 16 days, 23-year-old Samuel Moss says he’s grateful to be alive.
Moss lives in Nassau, Bahamas and says he traveled to Hialeah to purchase a boat from Craigslist for $3,500.
However, after he left he discovered the gas gauge wasn’t working. He ran out of gas on the first day trying to get back to the Bahamas and used his knowledge of the water to help him through the more than two weeks at sea.
Moss, speaking at a news conference Friday in West Palm Beach, says he was never lost. He always knew where he was, but lost cell service and had no way to contact anyone or make his way back to land. He used the waves to help him drift closer to shore.
He was surviving off cookies, chips and water but eventually ran out. Moss says he wrapped himself in canvas on the boat to protect himself from crashing waves. He says he never gave up hope.
On Monday, day 16, a boater spotted Moss and called the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard rescued him about 10 miles off the coast of West Palm Beach.
He was brought to St. Mary’s Medical Center where ER Doctor Kevin Buford says he was extremely dehydrated.
Dr. Buford says Moss’s body had gone into starvation mode. He says he’s not sure how Moss survived. He called him lucky and says his age and health helped him survive this experience. He says Moss probably would not have made it much longer at sea.
He says Moss was very weak, had a high heart rate and dangerous electrolyte levels. He could only speak in one-word sentences. He had some cuts on his body, and they immediately gave him IVs and vitamins. Dr. Buford says they had to wait 24 hours before giving him food or water.
He was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday. He plans to fly back to the Bahamas next week.
This was not his first time stranded at sea. It happened once before, and he says the lesson learned in all of this is to plan ahead better.