Two fishing buddies survived a two-day ordeal without life jackets in Galveston Bay by clinging onto a cooler and broken pipes floating in the water.
Michael Watkins, 51 and Raymond Jacik vanished during what was supposed to be a five-hour boat trip.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Watkins and Jacik left at 7 a.m. on Monday aboard their 20-foot Larson boat. When they didn't return a day later, authorities launched a search-and-rescue mission using airplanes, helicopters, and response boats near San Leon, Texas.
"We thought we were going to find bodies, we're not going to find people," said David Dunford, a friend of the boaters who joined the search on Tuesday.
The other was on another platform, and rescued a few minutes later.
According to a statement by the Coast Guard, Watkins and Jacik's boat capsized due to a "rogue wave," before they were able to put on their life jackets.
They clung to their cooler — and split the water and a sandwich inside it — before eventually getting separated and finding their ways to different oil platforms.
Both men were listed in stable condition at two hospitals, the Coast Guard in a statement on Wednesday.
Dehydrated, sunburnt and nauseous, Jacik spoke to NBC News affiliate KPRC and explained how his faith, broken pipes and the cooler helped him survive.
"After last night, I had a long talk with God," he said. "You get out there, the middle of the night, holding onto a pipe that feels like it's full of nails, or razor blades, and don't know how long you're going to be bear-hugging that thing."
In a statement, Watkins added: "I am thankful to be back on solid ground and with my family."