By Mark Ellis —
A Louisiana teen visiting the Georgia seashore survived a 10-hour night floating in the ocean talking to God.
Blake Spataro, 19, was sitting in knee-deep water on July 10th when he was suddenly hit by a strong rip current and dragged out to sea. He screamed for help, but no one could hear his cry.
“I didn’t want to die out there. I was talking to God the entire night,” Spataro told WJAX-TV.
Spataro spent the night in the ocean as the U.S. Coast Guard and his family searched desperately for him. When he got exhausted from swimming and treading water, he drifted on his back.
Floating under the stars, he communed with God and summoned His help.
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me…
“When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple. (Jonah 2)
As Spataro was about to give up, he saw lights from a nearby Coast Guard ship, which renewed his strength to keep swimming for shore.
He washed up near a golf course the next morning a few miles from where he entered the water. “I wanted to live. I thought I was too young to die, and I simply didn’t want to end there,” he said. “I am truly blessed to be alive today.”
Spataro’s mother, a strong Christian, was not part of the trip to Georgia with her son and ex-husband. When she got the phone call informing her that her son was missing, she felt intuitively that he was in the water.
“I knew he was in the water. I felt it,” Janice Dansby Spataro told Fox News. “I prayed to God all night long. I was praying, and I reached out on social media to ask for prayer because there’s power in prayer.”
Spataro suffered dehydration and exhaustion as a result of the ordeal, but did not appear to have any other serious injuries. He was taken to the hospital to be examined as a precaution.
Justin Irwin, senior chief with the U.S. Coast Guard in Brunswick, visited Spataro at the hospital. “I’ve been in the Coast Guard for 18 years, and I have never seen anything like this,” Irwin told WJAX.