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Rescued boater shares story of full day lost at sea | News

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Rescued boater shares story of full day lost at sea

CRYSTAL RIVER, Florida- Steve Moumouris is grateful he's still around to tell his amazing story of survival.

"I didn't stop fighting it at all but I knew I was going further and further out," said Moumouris.

His ordeal started miles off shore when his boat's engine suddenly stopped as he was on his way back from a fishing trip off the coast of Citrus County. 

With rough weather moving in, he was just about to grab his life vest when an unexpected wave threw him off the boat which quickly drifted out of reach.

"The seas were choppy it was a struggle to keep the water out of my body and be able to breath." 

Momouris said conditions didn't get any better overnight. At one point he spotted what appeared to be a shrimp boat off in the distance.

"I got within 100 yards of that boat, the lights turned off and they took off," said Momouris.

The next morning there were more close calls with search and rescue aircraft flying directly overhead.

"I thought they spotted me but that didn't work out."

Exhausted and struggling to breath, he heard a voice in the distance and managed to open his eyes.

"I just saw them chugging along away from me, probably 50, 60 yards. I started yelling for them. They said we see you buddy, hang on we'll be there."

His rescue, not a moment too soon. Besides wanting to get back to his friends and family he says there was one other thought motivating him to stay alive.

"You know, I can't die, I wanna have a drink of water. I can't die, I wanna have a cold bottle of water."

Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10