Gulf Coast Rescue

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Photo taken as screen grab from NBC affiliate video.

Photo taken as screen grab from NBC affiliate video.

Two men who had been clinging to a cooler for three hours after their boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico were rescued by good Samaritan boaters on Sunday.

One of them, Adam Vetter, posted video of the rescue to his Facebook page.

Vetter was with four others — Rob Wells, Fred Heidgerken and Joe Steplyk — boating back to shore around 6:30 p.m. when they came across a capsized boat about 12 miles off the coast of Hudson Beach in Pasco County.

“I knew there were people out there,” Vetter told WFLA, a local NBC affiliate.

One of the men can be heard in the video saying the two men had been lucky to have the cooler.

The rescue party attempted to alert the Coast Guard to see if the boat was called in yet, but couldn’t get a good signal, so they marked the location and continued to shore in hopes they could get a better signal.

About a mile or two from the sinking boat, Heidgerken spotted something white about a half a mile north of them. As they got closer, they realized it was a floating cooler and that two men — Jeovanni Villacis and Yunior Pupo — were clinging to it.

The men had spent the day fishing when they noticed water was puddling in the back of their 16-foot vessel.

Within seconds, Villacis and Pupo were in the water.

The men said they’d spent three to four hours in the water before being rescued and could not feel their legs.

That night, Villacis said he hugged his family. “I told everyone, I’m just grateful to be home,” said Villacis.


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