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TMSG: Boater Who Fell Into Channel Swims 5 Hours With Help From Seal

Boater Scott Thompson fell into the ocean and thought he was going to be spending his final moments on earth there.

Thompson fell out of his boat into the Santa Barbara Channel wearing only a t-shirt and shorts during the middle of the night. His boat's motor was still on so the boat quickly drifted away from him. Despite being an experienced swimmer and expert diver, he was panicking. He told ABC 7 News, "That's when I realized, like, OK, we got problems. I just started swimming as hard as I could, towards the boat, and it really didn't take too long to realize like, it's getting farther, I'm not getting closer."

He realized he needed a miracle to survive against all of the odds. He was leaning on the love of his family to fight through when a medium-sized harbor seal came up next to him. Thompson shared with ABC 7 News, "The seal would go underwater and he came up and nudged me, like a dog comes up and nudges your leg." The seal encouraged Thompson to swim some five hours to the nearest oil platform. Crews aboard the oil platform rendered aid to Thompson and then the Coast Guard got him to a hospital where he was treated for a few things including hypothermia.

Photo: Getty Images