• Seattle woman, brother swim 14 hours in Caribbean after boat sank

    By: James Schugel


    SEATTLE - A Seattle woman and her brother survived the unimaginable.  They swam nearly 14 hours in the Caribbean to get help after their fishing boat sank.

     Their trip on the Reel Irie fishing boat was supposed to last all day, but four hours in, Kate and Dan Suski's boat started taking on water.

     They were off Saint Lucia's rugged coast, as Dan started wrestling with a 200-pound marlin in rough seas.

    As he tried reeling it in, water rushed into the cabin and flooded the engine room.

     Recovering at a hotel, Kate Suski recalled the captain yelling to jump into the water before the boat sank.

     "There's this very real understanding that the situation is dire," she told an Associated Press reporter.

     "You come face-to-face with understanding your own mortality ... We both processed the possible ways we might die. Would we drown? Be eaten by a shark?"

     A rescue team saved the captain and his ship-mate after they spent 23 hours in the water, but the Suskis had to save themselves.

     They worried about hypothermia as they faced the incredible challenge of swimming alone, a good 12 miles to the island's coast with just life preservers.  They thought they'd die before reaching shore.

     Once the Suskis made it to shore, they collapsed on the beach, woke up the next morning and searched for help.  After drinking water from a stream and hiking through thick brush near the island's cliffs, they spotted a young farmer who fed them and called police.

     They don't blame anyone for the shipwreck, and just say they're grateful to be alive right now.

     They only have some cuts and bruises on their bodies. They plan to fly to Miami to meet their father this weekend.


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