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Senior Rescued After Clinging To Capsized Boat For 20 Hours

Volusia County Sheriff's Office/YouTube

For plenty of people, fishing is a great activity to relax and enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors.

Whether you keep the fish or throw them back into the water is up to you, because the point of the outing is for you and your friends to have a peaceful date with Mother Nature.

However, one man from from DeLand, Florida had a brush with death when his boat capsized on Monroe Lake, just north of Orlando.

And in order to survive, he had to cling onto it for nearly 20 hours.  

"A bigger wave came and it just filled the back of the boat up."

On October 8, Freddie Stills, 72, and his longtime friend Earnest Jones, 73, were on their way back to shore when their boat suddenly capsized in the body of water.

While Stills was able to clasp onto the sinking vessel, he saw Jones float away with his life jacket on.

"A bigger wave came and it just filled the back of the boat up and it just went down," he told FOX35. "Then [Jones] started drifting off and he told me to stay with the boat."

Sadly, that would be the last time the grandfather and Vietnam War veteran would ever see his friend again.

Stills was able to hang onto the boat overnight, and said he was able tie a rope to the boat so he could "sit on it like a swing."

"Nightfall came, I'd nod off. But I had the rope, I held on to the rope, and bob like that," he explained of the petrifying ordeal.

"I done prayed, and called on the Father and He answered."

The following morning, Jones' daughter called 911 to report her father missing.

She was able to find the vehicle the two men had driven on their way to Lake Monroe, which allowed the Volusia County sheriff's deputies to use a helicopter to locate Stills and the submerged vessel.

"I done prayed, and called on the Father and He answered," he shared.

He was taken to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City to be treated for hypothermia and physical exhaustion.

Following Stills' rescue, authorities would find Jones' lifeless body in the lake two miles away. Investigators later noted his life jacket wasn't securely fastened.

I miss him," Stills said of his friend of more than 60 years.

Watch the heroic rescue below:

[H/T: FOX35, Daytona Beach News-Journal]

Have you ever had a near-death experience? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com