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Posted: July 12, 2018

Teen on vacation survives nearly 10 hours in waters off Georgia coast


By Amber Krycka, ActionNewsJax.com

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. —

A 19-year-old spent nearly 10 hours in the ocean fighting for his life off the coast of Georgia's St. Simons Island.

>> Watch the news report here

“Worst vacation ever, but also my most exciting ever,” said Blake Spataro.

But it’s the kind of excitement most would like to avoid.

“I was out there sitting by the shore when a rip tide washes me straight into the ocean,” he said.

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The teen was stranded in the ocean for nearly 10 hours.

“I didn’t want to die out there. I was talking to God the entire night,” Spataro said.

He screamed for help, but no one heard him over the waves and wind. And he continued to get pulled out to sea Tuesday night.

“I wanted to live; I wanted to live. I was too young to die and I didn’t want it to end there,” said Spataro.

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For hours, the U.S. Coast Guard searched in the sky and by boat, along with multiple agencies. Spataro’s father, Kirk, spent all night walking up and down the beach, desperate to find his son.

“I was screaming. I was hollering. I was looking,” Kirk Spataro said.

Throughout the night, the teen did his best to stay calm.

“Whenever I was tired I floated on my back,” he said.

He was about to give up, but then came a ray of hope, literally.

Lights from an approaching Coast Guard boat boosted his spirits.

“That gave me some comfort and gave me some motivation to keep going,” he said.

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The teen kept pushing through until he came across a golf course early Wednesday morning where he came close enough to walk to shore and get help.

Workers there gave him food and water until an ambulance arrived. 

“I’m alive,” the teen said.

“I’ve been in the Coast Guard for 18 years and I have never seen anything like this,” said Justin Irwin, senior chief with the U.S. Coast Guard in Brunswick.

Irwin visited the teen in his hospital room to let Spataro know how amazed and proud he was.

“I am truly blessed to be alive today,” Spataro said. 


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ActionNewsJax.com

Teen on vacation survives nearly 10 hours in waters off Georgia coast

ActionNewsJax.com

Teen on vacation survives nearly 10 hours in waters off Georgia coast

A 19-year-old spent nearly 10 hours in the ocean fighting for his life off the coast of Georgia's St. Simons Island.

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