(Captain William M. Burleson, Jr.'s Story)
"While fishing off the southeastern end of Puerto Rico (about 10 miles out), we hooked a large Blue Marlin (estimated at over 600 lbs.). We fought the fish until we suddenly took a large wave over the transom. My mate, Ito Velazquez, notified that the water was about 8-10 inches deep in the cockpit. I ordered the fishing line cut and the crew started bailing the boat by hand. However, a second wave came in over the transom and the boat was going down. I barely had time to call Mayday and give the position. The boat was sinking fast. My mate swam up to the bridge and we got out the inflatable raft and pulled the cord inflating it. I credit the raft with saving our lives. There were a total of 6 adults floating on this raft until we were picked up by the U.S. Navy. We were on the raft for over an hour.
As we were in the deep water with sharks, had we not had the raft, some of us might not be here today. I will have this type of raft from Survival Products, Inc. before I venture out from shore in my boat."
Captain William M. Burleson, Jr.
Palmas del Mar Resort
Humacao, Puerto Rico
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