ISLAMORADA, Fla. – Boat Capt. Richard Stanczyk told News4Jax sister station Local 10 News that he was trapped in the eye wall of Hurricane Joaquin, with wind speeds up to 130 mph, for 24 hours.
After setting sail to the Bahamas nearly one month ago, the boat is finally docked back in Islamorada after what was supposed to be a family vacation.
"It was like (Hurricane) Andrew, only we were the only ones there," he said.
He and his family set out for a vacation Sept. 9, but they had no idea they would come face to face with Hurricane Joaquin.
"This storm was a bit unprecedented," Stanczyk said. "And when I say unprecedented, what I mean is, it went from nothing to a Cat 4 (hurricane)."
He said his good friend, Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield, tried to warn them.
"When I found out where you were, I said, 'Get out of there. Move the boat,'" Mayfield said to Stanczyk.
But it was too late. They spent 24 hours in the eye of the storm on the southern end of Long Island.
Capt. Scott Stanczyk was stuck watching and waiting in his car as the storm rolled in.
"There was sand in the rain," Scott Stanczyk said. "Every time you had to get out to do something, it hit you so hard it left little, like, water blisters on my arms and my face."
Family members said they are thankful they survived without any injuries.