WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two teens near Wilmington were credited Wednesday for rescuing an elderly man who fell out of his boat while fishing on New Year's Day.
"When we pulled him out of the water, he was in rough shape. He was pretty pale, his legs were pretty purple, and he was cut up pretty badly from the oysters," said Jack Cantey.
18-year-old Jack Cantey and 19-year-old Daniel Byman were fishing with another friend on a creek when they saw an empty boat. As they got closer, they heard 87-year-old Bill Hurst calling for help while clinging to the side of the boat.
"My first instinct, I didn't really think about it much. We just jumped in the water," said Byman.
"We pulled him in the boat. He was pretty out of it, he didn't know how old he was, where he was, and then we kind of got him warmed up a little bit, and we paddled him to a dock," said Cantey.
Frank Brostrom was checking on a friend's home who was out of town when he saw the rescue. He says the young men are heroes.
"He just wanted to go home...I ran in the house I got a blanket; we covered him. The boys were already on the phone with 911, calling 911 for assistance, but these two young men came along at the perfect time. They estimated five more minutes in the water, and the elderly man would have perished," said Brostrom
Cantey and Byman say they are thankful they were able to help Hurst who is from Wilmington and a longtime fisherman.
"It just feels like, blessed, almost. I mean, he could have died out there. So, I'm glad that we got there at that time and that day. I mean, we weren't even going to go fishing, but thank God we were there," said Byman.
Hurst is being treated for hypothermia and his condition has improved.