There was a strange triangle, different from others…
The sea is a treacherous beast, which is what I encountered for myself at a very young age. More than two decades ago, my dad and I went fishing in our small family boat right off the coast of southern Florida. The weather was fantastic, with not a single cloud in the sky. We got to the point where we wanted to try our luck and we started to fish, some 20 miles from the land. I was only 9 at the time, but my dad, a local police officer, was an experienced sailor from his years in the navy and our life at in the sunny Florida.
Everything went perfectly for an hour or two, but then, strange clouds began to appear on the horizon. My dad decided that it is better to start our way back, but he soon found out that he cannot start the engine. He tried and tired, but less than half an hour later, the clouds turned into a storm and it was on top of us. We went into the cabin and my dad radioed for help.
The storm soon began to batter our boat and I was scared like never before. But then, in the distance and through the noise of the storm, I heard a thumping sound of a helicopter. Soon after, a search and rescue diver knocked on our door, while he was lowered with a cable from the Coast Guard helicopter.
The Coast Guard rescuers took us to safety in less than one hour and I was completely captivated by them. Steadfast and brave, they did not fear to enter the strongest of the storms to save two souls from a huge chance of a tragedy. At that point, I knew I wanted to become a member of the Coast Guard. I finished high school and enter a maritime college where I studied hard and finished at the top of my class. I soon enrolled in the Coast Guard program and become a junior officer.
Here, I got my first assignment on a patrol boat and began working. One of the most fascinating things we encountered, aside from the regular parts of the job, was the idea of the Bermuda triangle.
Here, in this patch of the ocean which is bordered by the peak of Florida, the islands of Bermuda and Puerto Rico in the south is a place where many ships and airplanes disappear over the previous decades, if not centuries. Here, we often got distress calls about engines stopping for no reason, people seeing strange things in the distance, like a coastline where there should not be any and similar things. I am a completely rational person, but still, in the Bermuda Triangle, something strange was and still is definitely going on and all search and rescue people believe in this.
However, after a year on that boat, a new chance came knocking: the possibility of me becoming a rescue swimmer. These guys are tasked with jumping out of helicopters and swimming to any victims. I could not resist this, so I started training and entered a weight loss program which set me on a strict diet. After many months of vigorous discipline and a backbreaking system of training, I became ready to take the test. The moment when I completed the program, I became the happiest man on the planet. Soon, I started to work on a search and rescue helicopter.
One day, we were called to the Bermuda Triangle space, right next to the western coast of Florida. Here, a tourist sightseeing ship was in trouble. We flew there and I immediately jumped down. Most of the people were safely in their life rafts, but two women were struggling in the sea. One of them was an older lady who was almost unconscious, while holding her was the most beautiful girl I ever saw in my life.
She quickly told me that the old lady was her aunt who had breast cancer and was in bad health. But, using the skill of my team, we quickly towed both of them inside of the chopper and the others were rescued soon after. Up in the safety of the cabin, I knew that all of my hard work and sacrifice were repaid in full when I got the chance to save these people from certain death.
Now, five years later, I became married to the same girl and her aunt was at our wedding, which luckily survived and cured her breast cancer. I continue to work as a search and rescue professional and nothing brings me more joy than the knowledge that our actions save lives each and every day.
Below are a few more interesting stories about rescuing and saving lives of those stuck somewhere, somehow, on the sea.