Cape May, NJ--(WTXF)--It was a dramatic Coast Guard rescue 45 miles off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey.
FOX 29 first brought you this incredible story of survival Sunday night. Now the man who stayed afloat without a life preserver for 4 hours is speaking out about what he did before help arrived.
45-year-old Damian Sexton of Williamstown lost his footing and fell off his boat Saturday night. Sexton says the vessel's "auto-pilot" made it impossible for him to get back on board. Despite heavy rain and strong winds, Sexton says he treaded water and swam 10 miles to reach a cargo ship in the distance. That freighter plucked him out of the water until the coast guard arrived. He had a lot of motivation to stay alive.
"My family, my wife, and my kids, I could just picture their sorrow and their grief with me being gone and I knew it would ruin their lives. And I love them too much for them to go through that, so I just kept going. I didn't stop, I didn’t give up, and I don't know where I got the strength. I don't know how I did it, but I made it," he told FOX 29.
Sexton says a coordinated effort between the Coast Guard, the freighter and the friend on his boat also helped save his life.