For the first time, three fishermen who spent three days floating in the the Atlantic Ocean miles from land are telling their stories.

Lost at sea videos:  Part 1 | Part 2 | Boating safety

Brothers John and Elias Nevarez, along with John's girlfriend Rebecca Sullivan, followed a charter boat out about 10 miles off Mayport on May 16, 2010.  They picked a spot to spend the day fishing.

"It was a really nice day," Elias Nevarez said.

"We were fishing for anything," John Nevarez added.

They had just put their lines in the water when John said, "Two rogue waves came out of nowhere."

The waves swamped their boat and forced them to jump into the ocean.

"From the motor starting to sink to the boat actually flipping (was only) 8-10 seconds. It was fast," says Elias.

"I'm hysterical. I panic, literally panic," said Rebecca Sullivan.

While the three tried to grab whatever they could, it happened so fast they were not able to send a mayday call and they were not wearing life vests.

"It got hot as we were heading out and we took off our sweaters and off came the life vests, too," Elias said. "We stowed them in the cabin."

Now in the water, all they had with them was their blue Coleman cooler. In it was a case of water, one large bottle of Gatorade, some ice and a bag of squid that they were using for bait.


Pictured, right: John Nevarez and Rebecca Sullivan
talk about their three days lost at sea.

The three knew they had not told anyone else exactly where they were fishing that day and it would be at least sunset before anyone would start looking for them.

Day one

There was enough room for Rebecca to balance on the nose of their capsized boat, so she was spared what would happen next.

Elias and John were helpless in the water as waves of jellyfish rolled right into them.

"Something hit me in the back of the leg and I swear that thing felt like electricity. I almost jumped out of the water," Elias said.

"They'd wrap their tentacles around you and you'd feel millions and millions of stingers all over the place," John said.