Off the coast of Old Lyme, on Long Island Sound, a family's boat began taking on water. What happened next will astound you!

According to FOX 61, it was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon for the Emmanuelson family -- Darrell, Heather, and their two kids, Lucas and Holly. They were out on their new 13-foot sailboat to go check out the breakwater lighthouse in Old Saybrook, but they never made it. Heather Emmanuelson recounts the terrifying moments to FOX 61:

The waves were too high and the boat wouldn't turn and every time it dipped to the side, it took on a little bit of water. The third time it dipped, the water rushed in and the boat went down.

The family all had their life jackets on, but there were no boats in the area, so they tried swimming for shore without any success. It was time to make a crucial decision. Heather, who used to be a lifeguard in high school, left the kids with her husband and began the two-mile-long swim towards White Sands Beach in Old Lyme. She was eventually able to flag down a boat who brought her to shore where they immediately called 911.

Darrell and the kids spent 3 1/2 hours in the water before they were able to flag down a boat that brought them to Miami Beach in Old Lyme, but at the time Heather had no idea they had been picked up and no idea if they were OK. Heather also told FOX 61:

I had no idea where they were out there and all I could see were all the rescue boats and first responders looking.

The good news is that the family was reunited at Lenny's On the Beach Restaurant, all safe and sound. The huuuge lesson here is make absolutely sure your vessel has the proper number of life jackets when you're enjoying your family cruise.

Listen to Ethan Carey on the Ethan & Lou Show weekdays from 5:30-10AM on 95.1 FM. You can listen online at or by downloading the radioPup app for your mobile device.