Boaters open up about rescue off Jupiter coast

Posted at 11:43 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-07 13:28:33-04

The two boaters rescued in Jupiter after their boat capsized say they are lucky one of them had a waterproof cell phone on them.

Thor Arnold and James Sellers say they were thrown so quickly when their boat flipped, they didn't have time to grab anything.

"Luckily I had my cell phone in my pocket," said Arnold.

A waterproof cell phone was their salvation. Arnold called the U.S. Coast Guard and 911. The two men treaded water until helped arrived.

"I told Thor if they ain’t here soon, I don’t know how much longer I can hang on cause I'm getting tired," said Sellers.

Sellers say the waves were so strong he was swallowing mouthfuls of saltwater.

"The whole time all I could think was staying calm was what’s going to save me," added Sellers.

Arnold and Sellers left from the Jupiter inlet early Thursday morning. The plan was to catch kingfish just a few miles off the coast.

"When we threw out the anchor the anchor caught it, pulled the boat to the north and all the waves were coming out of north and all the waves came over the back of the boat  and the next thing we knew the boat was upside down," said Arnold.

Arnold says it happened too quick to grab life vests. He says he wrapped his legs around the motor, holding one end of a fishing rod and Sellers holding the other end. Both men are grateful for the successful rescue they say they've seen it end tragically for others in the past.

"It's just one of the those things. It's part of life. It happens, but it's one of those things everybody prays don’t happen to them," added Sellers.