A Man Lost at Sea for 30 Hours Got Stung by Jellyfish and Encountered Sharks

By: Alec Donaldson | Last updated: Oct 24, 2023

Charles Gregory, a 25-year-old man from Florida, was lost at sea for 30 hours before finally being rescued.

During his terrifying ordeal, the young man’s survival instincts kicked in as he combatted severe sunburns, jellyfish stings, and sharks lurking nearby in the water. Despite being stranded in the middle of the ocean on a partially submerged boat, he was able to beat the odds without any severe injuries.

He Had Gone Missing During a Fishing Trip

Gregory had embarked on a fishing trip off the St. Augustine coast when a large wave knocked him off his boat.


Source: TAFishing/Youtube

Fortunately, he managed to climb back aboard the small watercraft before the tide sent him even farther out to sea. For the next 30 hours, he remained inside the partially submerged boat while others on land grew increasingly concerned for his safety and well-being.

He Suffered From Sunburns, Freezing Nights, and Jellyfish Stings

His father, Raymond Gregory, spoke to CNN about the pain his son experienced while being exposed to the elements for nearly a day and a half. He revealed that his son suffered from significant sunburns from the extremely hot sun during the day.


Source: Erica Price/Getty Images

He also braved freezing cold temperatures at night – an issue that was intensified by his sunburnt skin. Jellyfish also attacked the young man, painfully stinging him all over.

He Did Everything He Could to Stay Alive

Charles Gregory tried everything he could to get rescued. While his situation was extremely stressful, he was able to think of logical ways to survive until someone found him.


Source: Getty Images

Desperate to stay alive, he removed the boat’s motor to keep it afloat. He also removed his swim trunks and used them to flag down nearby boats or aircrafts in hopes of getting rescued. “He was scared to death,” his father told CNN.

Thankfully, He is on the Road to Recovery

Charles Gregory is expected to make a full recovery, but he has a long road ahead before he starts feeling like himself again.


Source: Joe Perez/US Coast Guard

In addition to limited mobility from his sunburns, doctors diagnosed him with a heat-related medical condition called rhabdomyolysis. He’s fortunate to be alive, his father says, adding, “At the end of the day, the whole moral of the story is: don’t ever give up.”