Bahamian boater shares survival story after 16 days at sea

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Bahamian boater is sharing his story of survival after he spent weeks lost at sea.

Samuel Moss Jr. was saved after spending 16 days stranded at sea.

The 23-year-old is currently being treated at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he described his experience, Friday.

Moss’s journey began in Bimini on Jan. 13. He was heading home to Nassau, which is about 129 miles from Bimini.

He posted a video via Facebook Live just after he left Bimini, “I got four hours to Nassau,” he can be heard saying in the video.

He said the GPS stopped working after he posted the video.

“‘This doesn’t look like Paradise Island or Nassau, Bahamas,’ I said. ‘So where am I?'” said Moss.

He realized he was on Andros Island and had run out of fuel.

“I measured the distance between where I am and Cuba. It was like 138 miles,” said Moss. “I said, ‘Now, if I get within 60 miles of Cuban waters, that’s it.”

Moss thought he could drift to Exuma, but the wind was taking him in the wrong direction.

“I started drifting to Key West, and that’s when I realized I still was drifting to Cuba,” said Moss.

“I used the canvas as a sail, and I used the anchor and the engine as a steer,” said Moss.

He continued with that strategy for two weeks, then the weather changed.

Moss said what seemed like a 40-foot wave headed his way.

“When it hit, it hit hard back on the right-hand side, so the boat just like spun.”

Moss was injured. He used his four flares to no avail. Then he encountered sharks.

“But I just noticed like the ripples in the water, so I was like, ‘Is that shark?'” he said, “so I was like, ‘Wow. This cannot get any worse.'”

With no water or food, Moss said he started praying, asking God for another chance.

Moss was found a few days later.

“I noticed all of these crew members and stuff started running and said, ‘Hey, that’s man in the water right there!’ So he spun around, and he started throwing me apples and water.”

Moss was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center and has been there for three days.

“I’m really not sure how he survived,” said Dr. Kevin Buford from St. Mary’s Medical Center. “When he first came in, his electrolytes were very abnormal. He showed signs of dehydration. He showed that basically his body had gone into what we call ‘starvation mode.'”

When asked what he is thankful for, Moss replied, “Life. Another shot at life.”

This is the second time that Moss found himself lost at sea. Officials said it happened around the same time last year.

Moss said he lives on the water, and he’s not giving it up.

He said he’s flying back home to Nassau later this week.

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