Stranded scuba divers saved by passing yacht

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Scuba divers stranded in shark-infested waters saved by passing yacht
Scuba divers stranded in shark-infested waters saved by passing yacht

PA

Two scuba divers stranded three miles from dry land have been rescued by a passing yacht after their charter boat returned shore without them.

Paul Kline and Fernando Garcia Puerta surfaced from an afternoon dive in the Atlantic Ocean, three miles from Miami to find no trace of their boat.

Incredibly, the pair managed to cling to a buoy for two hours until passengers on a yacht, heading back to Miami from Key Largo, spotted them and alerted the captain.

The men had paid $85 for a four-hour boat ride in Biscayne Bay that included two one-hour dives at different locations.

"We were in shock. We could easily have died," Mr Kline, 44, told the Miami Herald. "If night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic."

He said they kept talking to each other throughout their ordeal "to try to keep up our high spirits".

Mr Kline and Mr Puerta, who did not previously know each other, kept talking to each other throughout their ordeal and are recovering in Miami.

Sasha Boulanger, owner of South Beach Divers, which organised the trip, is due to meet the scuba divers but he said the incident was the fault of RJ Diving Ventures, the boat operators he contracted to take the divers out. Mr Boulanger said that his own company enjoyed an "excellent" safety record.

The Miami Coastguard is currently investigating the incident.