March 28, 2012
By Game & Fish Online Staff
We've heard our share of survival stories from the open ocean, but this is one of the most harrowing in recent memory.
A Texas duo's fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico ended in tragedy last week when their boat sprang a leak, stranding the two friends in the frigid water.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ken Henderson recounted the events that led up to he and longtime friend Ed Coen treading water for over a day.
Henderson said he and Coen were fishing from their 30-foot-scarab Thursday afternoon when the boat sprung a leak, quickly filling with water. Attempts to start the engine failed, the motors flooded by the rising water. Radio calls went unanswered, and cell phone signals were nonexistent.
High winds soon tipped the drifting boat, plunging both men into the icy ocean. The two tread floated in the water, unable to swim to nearby gas wells, but Coen's health became progressively worse, and at about 3 p.m. the next day, Henderson cut the strap tying them together and began swimming to find help. At about 2 a.m., he finally reached an oil rig, where he was able to phone his wife, who in turn called the Coast Guard.
RELATED: Survive Until They Arrive
Henderson was taken ashore hours later and began searching for Coen, but it was too late. After spending over 30 hours in the frigid Gulf, Coen had passed away.
The firsthand account of this story is one of the most heartbreaking stories we've heard, and also one of survival and personal sacrifice. Our hearts go out to the Coen family for their loss. You can read the complete story here.