Watch: Emotional Video Captures Moment 22 Year Old Lost at Sea Is Found

22-year-old Dylan Gartenmayer and his friends were spearfishing and deep-sea diving off the coast of Key West last Thursday. This was nothing new, as Dylan is an experienced diver, and he enjoys expeditions such as this with his friends. What was unusual is what happened last Thursday. Dylan got caught in a strong current and swept under and away from the boat and his friends. His family and friends feared the worst. They had a reason to, as situations like this basically never turn out good. Except this time. Dylan should buy a lottery ticket. Check this out.

Last Thursday, Dylan and his friends were spearfishing and deep sea diving off the coast of Key West.

However, upon his last dive attempt, Dylan got caught up in a powerful Gulf Stream that swept him underwater and away from the boat. He believes he was underwater for nearly two minutes – just holding his breath as he was being tossed and thrown about.

His friends obviously didn’t know that he got caught up in the Stream and thought he passed out from lack of oxygen where he was driving. They began searching for him but couldn’t find him before they frantically called his mother – who jumped in a boat with her family. As they sped towards their friends’ boat they contacted the Coast Guard who launched a search and rescue mission.

To be honest, at this point it is more of a recovery mission. This ends well almost never. You simply can’t tread water forever. Gartenmayer’s next move is likely what saved him.

Fortunately, he said he spotted a buoy about a mile away and began swimming towards it. Along the way he was able to grab some bamboo and use that to swim with.

Eventually, he made it to the buoy. He tied a piece of the bamboo between the two buoy’s and held on for dear life.

The quick thinking saved his life, and despite the almost certainty that sharks would soon be involved, Dylan hung on, prepared to spend the night in the water. After hanging on for three hours, a miracle happened, his parents found him, and the emotional discovery was caught on camera.


Replying to @yari43770 We’ve lived in key west for many generations and we have fallen family members who we let to rest at sea and we really feel like the protected him ❤️ look at that smile!

♬ original sound – Priscilla Gartenmayer

Coast Guard officials were shocked.

 Dylan being found was nothing short of a miracle. “Too often missing diver cases don’t have positive outcomes, and the circumstances of this case didn’t forecast for one,” said Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Tatum. “His foresight to lash mooring balls together to make him a bigger target in the water was smart,” she added.

The emotional reunion and the highly unlikely rescue rather than recovery would lead one to think perhaps Dylan won’t be diving again anytime soon but said he can’t wait to get back out there with his friends. He now has a story to tell, and thankfully he lived to tell it.

Featured image screen grab from embedded Tweet


Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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