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'Worst vacation ever,' says teen after being stranded in ocean overnight

A tourist's nighttime walk on the beach in Georgia turned his trip into the "worst vacation ever," he says, after a rip tide swept him out to sea. Blake Spataro, 19, of Louisiana, told WJAX-TV he spent nearly 10 hours in the Atlantic Ocean with no flotation device other than his own body. He said he "didn't want to die out there," so he floated on his back and "was talking to God the entire night." [Photo from video]
A tourist's nighttime walk on the beach in Georgia turned his trip into the "worst vacation ever," he says, after a rip tide swept him out to sea. Blake Spataro, 19, of Louisiana, told WJAX-TV he spent nearly 10 hours in the Atlantic Ocean with no flotation device other than his own body. He said he "didn't want to die out there," so he floated on his back and "was talking to God the entire night." [Photo from video]
Published Jul. 13, 2018

A tourist's nighttime walk on the beach in Georgia turned his trip into the "worst vacation ever," he says, after a rip tide swept him out to sea.

Blake Spataro, 19, of Louisiana, told WJAX-TV he spent nearly 10 hours in the Atlantic Ocean with no flotation device other than his own body. He said he "didn't want to die out there," so he floated on his back and "was talking to God the entire night."

Glynn County Emergency Management Director Jay Wiggins wrote on Facebook that officials were about to switch the search from rescue to recovery Wednesday when they learned the teenager was alive. He had floated 3 miles and then realized he could walk ashore on a Sea Island golf course.

While his son was floating in the ocean, Spataro's father said he searched up and down the beach for his son. While his father paced the beach, the coast guard scanned the Atlantic off the Georgia coast, searching by air and boat.

"I was screaming, I was hollering, I was looking," Kirk Spataro, Blake's father, told WJAX-TV.

Though he made it back to shore on his own, Spataro said he saw lights from a coast guard boat while he was attempting to stay above water, which gave him "some comfort and some motivation to keep going,"

"I've been in the Coast Guard for 18 years and I have never seen anything like this," Justin Irwin, senior chief with the U.S. Coast Guard in Brunswick, told WJAX-TV.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

This 19-year-old spent nearly 10 HOURS in the ocean fighting for his life!
"I was all alone with no one to talk to except myself and God."

The teen shares his remarkable story only to @ActionNewsJax at 10 pic.twitter.com/BHBBsC3o0i

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