updated 10/4/2011 11:48:02 AM ET 2011-10-04T15:48:02

Two divers left behind by a charter boat off the coast of Key Biscayne, Fla., had a near-death experience, fearing the worst before being saved by a passing yacht, according to the Miami Herald.

"We were in shock," Paul Kline told the Herald of Sunday's incident, in which he and another diver resurfaced only to find the boat gone and themselves three miles from shore. "We could easily have died."

Kline, a 44-year-old certified deep-sea diver from Austin, Texas, said he and Fernando Garcia Puerta, a tourist from Spain, clung to a small buoy for more than two hours until passengers on a boat spotted them. They were found just before dark.

"If the night had fallen, the situation would have turned into panic," Kline told the Herald.

Kline and Garcia Puerta had gone out with others on a Miami Beach boat captained by Mike Beach of RJ Diving Ventures.

Beach did not answer questions about the incident, saying only: "Everybody is OK, no one is hurt, everyone is happy. That’s all."

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is investigating the incident.

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