Boaters Back With Family

By: Amy Morris
By: Amy Morris

Ken and Josh Heybrock disappeared Tuesday afternoon after they set-out from Cape San Blas on a sailing trip. The Coast Guard rescued the two men yesterday about 85 miles from where they started.

"It was desolate". That's Ken Heybrock's description of life on the water for 48-hours not knowing when or if he would see his family again. Finally back on dry land today, Ken and son Josh say they got their sea legs this week.

While high school senior Josh remains humble about the experience his father calls him his hero. "I'm really glad Josh was there. He really kept me going and without his ideas with the sail and all we would not have survived. He really is my hero.”

Eighteen-year old Josh wrapped him and his father in the ripped sails to stay warm and collected water to drink by bending the sail. Josh says he doesn't know how he came up with the ideas. "I just figured, you know, you never know how long we're going to be out here so we may as well do what we can."

The pair set-out Tuesday afternoon with small craft advisories in effect. They soon got stranded in 15 to 20 foot seas, but being stuck on the water gave the two men a lot to think about.

"I was thinking about my daughters going to the alter and me not being there to give them away. I was thinking about my other son and my wife," Ken says.

Father and son say they saw several fishing boats and a small plane but couldn't get anyone's attention and just as the pair resigned themselves, knowing they couldn't make it through another night, help arrived.

"I was so happy", Josh says, "The helicopter started circling us and I was like thank you". Ken Heybrock says he almost started weeping when he saw the rescue crew. "When the guy jumped in the water I almost broke down right there, because I knew we were safe".

The family is planning to stay in the area through the weekend to recuperate before heading home to High Point, North Carolina.


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