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A father-son duo from North Carolina rescued a missing boater some 40 miles off the coast after an empty vessel nearly rammed them.
Andrew Sherman and his son Jack were deep-sea fishing when they noticed a boat heading for them. The boat passed them by some 15 yards, but they didn’t see anyone driving.
“There’s a little cabin in front, so you can’t totally see what’s going on, but you can easily see the pilot house where the guy would be driving,” Jack Sherman told WSLS.
The duo caught up with the boat and hopped on board, finding it empty. Andrew Sherman called the Coast Guard, but it wasn’t clear how long they would have to wait for someone to arrive.
“I was like, ‘Jack, we gotta look for this guy until the Coast Guard gets out here and tells us to stop,’” Andrew Sherman said.
The unmanned boat had multiple GPS devices, which the Shermans used to retrace the boat’s path. After a few passes, the Shermans found Sascha Scheller floating in the water.
Scheller had been treading water for three hours. He claimed he was knocked overboard after taking off his lifejacket and putting down the boat’s kill switch.
“He said his legs were locking up and he was cramping really badly, and he just laid there on the back of the deck and recovered a little bit, and then he came in and we hugged,” Andrew Sherman said. “He was like, thank you for saving my life.”
The Shermans and Scheller plan to get together and keep in touch following the incident.
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Scheller has two daughters and wrote on social media about how grateful he was for the help, and he promised to never make the same “mistake,” according to People.
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