Houston sailor had close call with death after boat accident in Pacific Ocean

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A sailor from Houston is sharing his story after he was stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with nowhere to go.

Captain Chris Carney considers himself one with the sea. He and two other men began their journey in November and their mission was to deliver a boat from Japan to Hawaii.

Suddenly, three weeks into their voyage, things took a twisted turn. ABC13 spoke with Carney via Facetime about the accident.

"We were trying to keep our spirits up, but it was hard," said Carney. "[It was] literally a sinking feeling. We are not exactly sure, but we think due to metal fatigue, we lost a mast and we had to cut it free."

Then, about 8 hours after, Carney and his crew hit rough waters. A rogue wave flipped their boat over and another wave flipped it again. It began taking in water in the middle of the night.

"The flipping-back-over-to-the-side was just as violent as the original flip, which was pretty bad," recalled Carney. "Two guys had concussions. We had bumps and bruises. The boat was a wreck. All our equipment was flooded with water or smashed from the crash."

The men had no means of communication and began rationing for food and supplies. After more than a week adrift in the ocean, the crew finally saw a ship in the horizon on a bright sunny day.

They used the reflection of the sun on broken mirrors to flash a signal and catch their attention.

"We were shining, [just] flashing and flashing and they saw," he said.

The men were rescued just in time by Good Samaritans and the U.S. Coast Guard. It was a frightening ordeal, but Carney says it won't keep him from doing what he loves.

"I don't intend to stop sailing," he said.

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