A day of fun at the beach for two teens almost turned into a tragedy, if not for the power of prayer, and a boat named ‘Amen.’
The Florida teens who were enjoying senior skip day near the beach, soon found themselves in perilous waters in the ocean.
Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, both 17-years-old, students of Christ’s Church Academy, have been friends since fourth grade. They were swimming off of Vilano Beach, near St. Augustine, when they found that they would not survive.
They had been swimming for the last two hours and were two miles offshore, the soccer players then began praying to God and crying out for help.
“I cried out: ‘If you really do have a plan for us, like, come on. Just bring something,’” Tyler recalled.
Tyler held onto Heather as he began cramping, but just in time, Captain Eric Wagner and his crew found them.
“Over all the wind, waves, and engines, we thought we heard a desperate scream,” Wagner said. “Exhausted and near the end, the boy told me he called out for God’s help. Then we showed up.”
Wagner informed the Coast Guard and took his boat, “The Amen,” to their rescue.
The crew, who had headed from Delray Beach to New Jersey, decided to venture out despite the bad sea condition, for which Wagner and the teens are thankful for that decision.
“I told them the name of the vessel, that’s when they started to cry,” Wagner said. “The young couple was gracious and grateful to us and to God. It was the latter all along.”
The teens will be graduating on May 19, and then plan to join the military.
Heather wants to study at Embry Riddle University and study homeland security and be a naval ROTC marine officer, and Tyler will be attending Florida Atlantic University, study business finance, get his pilot’s license, and join the Air Force.
“From us crying out to God, for Him to send someone for us to keep living and a boat named ‘Amen,’ there’s no way that it wasn’t Him,” Tyler said.
Jeanie Collins, director of marketing and development at Christ’s Church Academy, said the school is grateful they are alive.
“The staff, students and families of Christ’s Church Academy are incredibly grateful for God‘s protection over Heather and Tyler,” Collins said. “Thank you to Mr. Eric Wagner, captain of the ‘Amen’ vessel that rescued our students, for your action and compassion!”