Friendship
Man stranded in shark-infested waters thought he’d die until a wild seal helped save his life
Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for.
Luis Gaskell
09.19.22

Ending up lost at sea sounds like a relic of the past, but it absolutely can still happen. There are still plenty of people who own boats and ships, and getting lost is still a major concern even with modern technology.

Scott Thompson of California found himself stranded in the open waters when he fell out of his boat.

Pexels - Taryn Elliott
Source:
Pexels - Taryn Elliott

The Californian wasn’t dressed for harsh conditions either. All he wore were shorts and a T-shirt. Scott was on a trip that he planned but had to cut things short due to weather conditions.

So he headed back in his boat – with no one else on board.

The moment of misfortune happened when he went for a bathroom break in his boat and got knocked out by strong waters.

Pexels - Spencer Davis
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Pexels - Spencer Davis

Scott had left his boat in gear. As he got knocked into the waters, his boat kept moving along without him. Way faster than he could swim after it.

Now, he was stranded in the waters of the 130-kilometer-long Santa Barbara Channel.

Sounds like the start of a disaster or horror film, doesn’t it?

“I was taught by the best urchin divers in the business about safety, but for whatever reason, I was careless.” – he said

Now, Scott was beginning to truly panic. Who wouldn’t in his situation?

Pexels - Oliver Sjöström
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Pexels - Oliver Sjöström

He really began to think that this was how it would end for him. And it may well have played out that way if it weren’t for the most incredible interaction he was about to have.

Scott was spotted by a friendly harbor seal.

Harbor seals are the most common species of seal worldwide, so it’s not too surprising that one happened to be nearby.

The seal nudged him, which Scott likened to what a curious dog would do.

Seals are pretty smart, and this one seems to have known that Scott was in trouble.

With his new companion and newfound will to live, he swam like he never did before.

For an excruciating 5 hours, Scott swam to an oil platform with his seal companion nearby.

You usually wouldn’t want to get this up close and personal with a seal. For the same reason you wouldn’t want to get too close to any wild animal.

When they get too comfortable around people, they tend to inch closer and closer to human territory – and they might just run into humans who aren’t as friendly as you. It goes both ways too. As a human, you can’t just count on every wild animal you meet to be friendly.

Pexels - Erik Mclean
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Pexels - Erik Mclean

Whenever Scott would lose stamina from swimming, the seal would bump his legs to keep him going.

The two definitely bonded in those 5 hours, given Scott began singing Grateful Dead songs for the seal.

After that long trip that most people wouldn’t believe happened, Scott made it to the oil platform and pulled himself out of the water.

Pexels - Wendy Wei
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Pexels - Wendy Wei

It wouldn’t have been possible without the seal, that’s for sure.

Swimming in the ocean nonstop for 5 hours took its toll on Scott. The crew at the oil platform assisted Scott with everything he needed.

Pexels - Matt Hardy
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Pexels - Matt Hardy

Once he was safe, he made it to a hospital where he recovered from the dehydration and hypothermia that set in.

Pexels - billow926
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Pexels - billow926

But he’s fortunate that that’s all he had to deal with. All thanks to his seal buddy who he might not meet again.

As for his boat, he needs a lot of cash to repair it. A GoFundme was created to help with that. I hope he got enough funds to repair his boat!

Learn more about this incredible story in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Luis Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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