After missing at sea for several hours, 22-year-old diver and spear fisherman Dylan Gartenmayer was miraculously rescued by his own family just as the sun was about to extinguish its light. According to the Christian Post, the rescue was a “miracle” as many divers who go missing under such circumstances are often not found. The emotional rescue was captured on video, and Dylan’s family can be seen overwhelmed with joy and gratitude at finding their loved one alive.
According to the Christian Post, Dylan, who is from Key West, Florida , was pulled away from the coast by the Gulf Stream while out diving. Although Dylan was being followed in a boat while diving, he explained that the current was taking him faster and faster away from them, and when he resurfaced the boat had disappeared from his sight.
Knowing the perilous situation he was in, Dylan began making life-saving moves including dropping the weights off his belt. He found a piece of drifting bamboo which he held onto, but knew that he needed to stop drifting. Dylan swam towards the nearest reef, but after finding nothing to hold onto, he cut three different mooring balls from a line to make himself “a little raft.” He floated on his makeshift raft laying on his chest to preserve heat as the sun began to disappear over the horizon.
Although he could see the Coast Guard searching for him in his previous location, Dylan was bracing himself for a rough night with deadly threats lurking below the surface. He noted that he was surrounded by bait and mackerel, and had seen a reef shark swim past him. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Tatum, praised Dylan’s resourcefulness that kept him alive noting that many divers who find themselves swept out with the current do not often come out of the situation alive.
Dylan’s cousin, Priscilla Gartenmayer, who captured the video, shared an emotional post thanking God for the miracle. Priscilla wrote,“Got a horrible phone call yesterday that Dyl had went diving and hadn’t been seen for two hours! After calling the fam together we hopped on the contender and had the scariest boat ride of our life out to his last known coordinates. God was definitely on our side because as soon as we stopped running out and started looking, we spotted him right away at almost the exact coordinates we were given.”