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Delray Beach man heading north in his boat called 'Amen' rescues teens from the ocean

Posted at 4:36 PM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 04:59:09-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Eric Wagner spends the winter months in Delray Beach. He usually leaves his boat behind when he goes to New Jersey, but one trip took an unusual turn.

When Wagner and his friends decided to take the boat north they encountered rough waters along the way.

MORE: Florida teens stranded in ocean pray for help, rescued by boat named 'Amen'

"We were passing the St. Augustine Inlet when on a whim we decided let's give the ocean a shot. It was too choppy and everything was fine in the Intracoastal Waterway."

He couldn't believe his eyes, two people were in the water.

"We were out about two miles away and we thought we heard a scream. We all started to look around," said Wagner.

Tyler Smith, 17, said he was praying for someone to rescue them.

"I cried out and was like if you really do have a plan for us, just like come on, just bring something," said Smith.

His prayer was answered by the men on board the "Amen." "I do think that it would have ended tragically if we had not gone out on the ocean," Wagner recalled.

Heather Brown said, "The name of the boat is "Amen," I started crying."

Wagner said the two teens were weak from treading water for almost two hours.

"Once on the swim deck, they had a hard time climbing up the ladder. we had to push and pull them up because they were very weak. Also the boat is moving around and Tyler's leg was cramped up," Wagner said.

He called the Coast Guard. The teens were wrapped in blankets shivering.

He originally planned to leave Delray Beach a day earlier, but thankfully that didn't happen. He says it's no coincidence he was able to rescue them.

"God put us there. We pulled them out of the water. It was them that prayed. It was God that put us there, and that's where all of the thanks should go," said Wagner.