When two Florida teenagers were swept out miles into the Atlantic Ocean by a strong current, they prayed to God for help — and those pleas were answered in the form of a passing ship named ‘Amen.’
Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, students at Christ’s Church Academy in Jacksonville, said they were at a local beach last month when they took a dip in the water and got pulled out into the ocean.
Smith told First Coast News that they tried to swim back to land but tired out in the rough seas. Realizing they couldn’t make it back, Smith said he grabbed Brown’s hand and started praying.
“He was the first one to just start calling out to God,” Brown told the outlet. “Just praying for strength to swim.”
That’s when Eric Wagner’s boat, named “Amen,” appeared.
“It just came out of nowhere,” Brown recalled.
In a Facebook post April 18, Wagner said he was taking his boat from Delray, Florida, to New Jersey when he heard a “desperate scream” and saw an arm flailing in the water. When Wagner reached the teens, who were not wearing life vests, they were pale and shivering.
Smith’s lips were white and he was having trouble talking, Wagner wrote. Brown was “lucid.”
Both teens were too weak to climb into the boat, so Wagner and a shipmate pulled them aboard, he said. According to Wagner, the teens were almost two miles from the shore and had been in the water for more than 90 minutes.
When Smith and Brown found out the name of Wagner’s boat, they became emotional.
“Exhausted and near the end, the boy told me he called out for God’s help. Then we showed up. I told them the name of the vessel, that’s when they started to cry,” Wagner wrote.
Christ’s Church Academy said in a Facebook post Thursday that the rescue was “miraculous” and it “continues to spread the word of God’s glory.”
A spokesperson for the school told NBC News in a statement Friday that Smith and Brown are doing well and will graduate in a few weeks.
“The staff, students and families of Christ’s Church Academy are incredibly grateful for God’s sovereign protection over Heather and Tyler,” the spokesperson said. “Thank you to Mr. Eric Wagner, captain of the ‘Amen’ vessel that rescued our students, for your swift action and compassion!”