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Teens stranded at sea saved by boat named “Amen”



  • Two teens in Florida decided to swim from Vilano Beach to a nearby island.
  • After swimming for hours, they lost sight of land.
  • Because of the rough seas, only a boat called “Amen’ was on the ocean that day.

At times, it appears that fate has a good sense of humor.

A group of Christ Church Academy students went to Vilano Beach, near St. Augustine, Florida, for a day of sunbathing on “Senior Skip Day.” Heather Brown and Tyler Smith were two of the students that took advantage of their free day. On the spur of the moment, they decided to try swimming to a nearby island. That’s when things could have gone tragically wrong.

That day, the sea was turbulent and rough. They’d been swimming for hours when they became disoriented and lost their sense of direction. They were two miles from shore and without a life jacket or floating device before they realized it. Despite the fact that they were both excellent swimmers, they were weary, and Tyler developed a terrible cramp. Things looked grim with no one nearby to hear their calls for aid, so they began to pray aloud.

Tyler recalled:

“While I was laying on my back, the best I could, floating, I just called out, ‘God, please don’t let this be the end. I still want to see my family… send someone to save us’.” 


Because of the rough seas, there were much fewer boats traveling the channel. In fact, there was only one boat on the ocean that afternoon, traveling from Delray Beach to New Jersey. 

While at the helm, Captain Eric Wagner heard a plea for help and saw an arm waving above the waters.

“Over all the wind, waves, and engines, we thought we heard a desperate scream,” said Eric. “Exhausted and near the end, the boy told me he called out for God’s help. Then we showed up.”


Tyler begged Heather to keep pleading for help. Heather reported seeing a shaded hand waving back at her through the screen.

Eric contacted the Coast Guard before turning around his boat. He believed they’d been out on the water in a sunk kayak or small boat. He realized how terrible the situation was when he came and found them without any floating equipment.

Eric greeted the two weary and dehydrated teenagers aboard after rescuing them from the sea. That’s when he casually revealed that the name of the boat that had saved them was, coincidentally, “Amen.”


“I told them the name of the vessel, that’s when they started to cry,” Eric shared. “The young couple was gracious and grateful to us and to God. It was the latter all along. I don’t want to call it dumb luck, it wasn’t, it was the hand of God.”

The teenagers couldn’t agree more.

“From us crying out to God, for Him to send someone for us to keep living and a boat named ‘Amen,’ there’s no way that it wasn’t Him,” said Tyler.

Source: Inspire More