Two fishermen were rescued in Oceanside Harbor Thursday morning after they encountered huge swells, causing their 16-foot boat to overturn.
"[We] cheated death today," survivor Ted Tielens told NBC 7 after the rescue.
The Oceanside Fire Department and Harbor Police launched rescue efforts in the water near the 1400 block of North Pacific Street just before 8:40 a.m. after Tielens' boat flipped.
Minutes later, crews were able to pull both Tielens and his grandson-in-law, Zach Petite, out of the water. Besides feeling shaken up, the men suffered only minor scrapes and bruises.
Tielens and Petite spoke with NBC 7 and recounted their harrowing boating accident.
The men said they were fishing in the bay and, when they realized they weren’t catching any fish, they decided to venture out into the harbor.
When they arrived at the mouth of the harbor, they were met with huge waves, including one that crept up behind them that was approximately 10 feet. When the men tried to maneuver their boat to get away from the wave, the vessel was overpowered by the water and overturned.
"We sped up but the break caught up with us, buried the bow and we went over," Tielens recounted.
The men told NBC 7 their vessel was destroyed and they lost everything on board, including clothing, fishing gear and equipment. Harbor Police towed the wrecked vessel out of the water.
Still, Tielens and Petite were grateful it wasn’t worse and that they came out alive.
"Neither myself nor my grandson-in-law were injured. Everything's fine," Tielens added.
This rescue came amid a beach hazard warning and high surf at many of San Diego's beaches.
Tielens and Petite said they have been fishing in Oceanside Harbor for about seven years, and have never seen waves like the ones they survived Thursday.