SUFFOLK COUNTY, New York -- A 63-year-old man was rescued from the Atlantic Ocean Monday morning off the coast of New York's Long Island after treading water for over five hours.
Dan Ho went for a swim around 5 a.m. at Cedar Beach in Babylon, New York Monday, and was pulled out by the current into open water.
After five hours of treading water with no flotation device, Ho found a broken fishing pole in the water. He tied his shirt to the edge of the pole and waved the shirt in the air in an attempt to notify passing vessels of his presence.
About two and a half miles south of where Ho had entered the water, two men on a boat spotted him.
Captain Jim Hohorst and his friend Michael Ross had been fishing for striped bass. They were checking the water for bait when they saw something moving.
"He was just treading water, praying some boat would come by," said Ross. "I can tell you, no boats in the area, not for miles."
Hohorst and Ross threw Ho a life ring and helped him aboard.
Ho was conscious but unable to stand.
"He was blue, (his) body gray," said Ross. "He was shaking, totally hypothermic. (We) wrapped him in towels."
Responding officers met up with the civilian boat and brought him to the Fire Island Coast Guard Station. Ho was treated by a Coast Guard medic and brought to a local hospital.
As for Hohorst and Ross, they did not catch any striped bass, but they do have a new story to tell.