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Rescued teen: 'I knew we were in trouble'


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Josh Long
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(CNN) -- Teenagers Josh Long and Troy Driscoll survived six days on a 14-foot sailboat in shark-infested waters off the Atlantic Ocean without food or fresh water.

The pair traveled more than 100 miles from where they began their journey off Sullivans Island, South Carolina, on April 24. Long; his father, Eddie; and Driscoll's father, Tony, spoke Monday with CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien about the ordeal.

O'BRIEN: Give me a sense, Josh, of how you and Troy are doing. I know you got severely sunburned, very dehydrated as well. But overall, what's your prognosis?

JOSH LONG: We're doing better. I mean I'm pretty much healed -- just a lot of burns and cuts and bruises. Troy got worse than I did. He got a lot worse burns, and he's doing better. He's not -- [he's] trying to stay off his feet and rest for a while. But all in all, we're doing real good, recovering fast.

O'BRIEN: When did you realize, Josh, that things were going very wrong?

LONG: It was right after we got -- like, we were trying to get to a sandbar, and when we were going out, we got caught in the riptide, and it took us right around it. And as soon as I got in it, I knew we were in trouble.

O'BRIEN: Six days you were in this small boat. Give me a sense of what was happening over those six days. How did you get water? What did you eat?

LONG: Well, really, we didn't eat anything. Troy ate these jelly balls that we [caught] with my hat. We just scooped them up out of the water. The only thing we could do with the water was gargle salt water and spit it out. And it drizzled one night, and we licked water off the deck, trying to get something in us. So that's all we had.

O'BRIEN: Josh, I read you had a number of close calls -- one with another ship that didn't really see you, and also tell me about the sharks that were in the water as well.

LONG: Well, I mean, there's always sharks everywhere. I mean, my dad always told me that they're not going to bother you very much; they're just curious. But we'd be swimming around, and they'd come up and start heading your way, and that's when we got out of there. You could sit on the boat, and they'd start swimming toward the boat, and they're everywhere. Every time you turn around and get in the water, there's one coming.

O'BRIEN: You seem very calm now. I mean, you seem really, really calm now. But give me a sense of how desperate you were out on that little boat three, four, five, six days into it. What was going through your mind?

LONG: Everything that would go through my mind was always going back to my family. How is my family reacting? I knew my mom, my dad, uncle Tony and everything -- they were all worried. I never thought that the search would have been that massive, ever.

But it just -- what kept me calm is God. I prayed every hour. We'd just pray and pray, and we kind of realized, we said, "Well, if we don't make it, we know where we're going, and if we make it, I just want to go back to my family." So we just kept praying every day about that.

O'BRIEN: Well, dads, Eddie and Tony, if I may ask you, obviously, you're very grateful to have both your sons alive and well. Give me a sense of how you guys are doing this morning.

EDDIE LONG: Well, we certainly feel like we have experienced a miracle. We just feel like that all -- most of the authorities were turning it from a rescue to a recovery, and ... that our children were going to -- and their bodies were going to come afloat anytime. And -- but we knew there was room in there for a miracle. So we -- the people who prayed and the people who participated -- we thought it was tremendous, but we realized it wasn't by any men's effort, that all the money, and all the technology and all the things that were done, it [was] fishermen that brought them off of the ocean, and we think that's very appropriate.

O'BRIEN: Tony ... Eddie talked a little bit about a miracle there. A little teeny space for a miracle to happen, and it happened. As you look back now, do you ever want to see your boys back on a boat again -- ever, ever?

TONY DRISCOLL: I couldn't imagine them going back out on that water again. I just -- God made this miracle happen, and like five days into the journey, I knew the boys had to be out there because there weren't any clues. And I was in the Navy for six years, but, you know, my thoughts were they were out in the middle of the ocean -- nobody had found them yet, and just five days into it, I was like, you know, I just kind of put it in God's hands after that, and I just prayed to God that he would bring a miracle to come true, and he did. And I just can't thank God enough for bringing those two boys home, you know.


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