Marine biology student Heather Barnes survives 16 hours lost at sea
Marine biology student SURVIVES 16 hours lost at sea
- Heather Barnes, 20, a marine biology student at the New College of Florida was on a school trip to Honduras
- She got lost at sea when she found herself cramped swimming alone one morning
- After 16 hours in open water, she returned to dry land after having to swim on her own
Heather Barnes, 20, a marine biologist student at the New College of Florida, was swept to sea on Friday off the coast of Honduras.
Barnes was on a school trip and decided to pick up some coral early in the morning when her leg twitched and the tide pulled her away from the reef, starting a 16 hour nightmare that would leave Barnes hallucinating from dehydration with severe strokes. sun, jellyfish stings and blisters.
Miraculously, she returned to shore alive – on her own.
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Survivor: Barnes endured severe sunburns, jellyfish stings, blisters and hallucinations from dehydration during her 16 hours in open water
On Friday, the last day of the trip, Barnes couldn’t sleep so she decided to do some pre-dawn snorkeling to collect coral samples – as she had done each morning of the trip.
But while swimming alone in the coral reefs around Cayo Grande, she started having stomach and leg cramps and was pushed out to sea by ocean currents.
At first, Barnes thought it would be safer to try and stay in one place, believing that her group would soon notice her missing and send search and rescue teams after her.
After two hours of idling and no sign of any other life, she decided she should swim on her own.
Just keep swimming: the red line shows Barnes’ path to the sea, while the green line shows her swimming backwards. The short blue line is the route taken by locals to return it by kayak to its resort
‘It’s a little strange because even when I didn’t feel like I was strong enough, there was enough of me still wanting to go on. It didn’t seem like a choice. I just – I had to keep going, âsaid Barnes ABC News.
And she continued. Sixteen hours after his first outing at tuba, she returned ashore where the locals found her and took her back by kayak to the resort where she was staying.
Turns out her group noticed she was missing when she does not have come and have breakfast at 7:30 am.
Sandra Gilchrist, the professor overseeing the trip, informed authorities and ressignal boats were in the water looking for Barnes twenty minutes later.
‘I was mad with her when we realized she was dating herself. She knows better, âGilchrist said. âThe research was immediately launched. ”
The rescue team grew to include 100 people at noon, including officials from two governments, coast guards, divers, kayakers and residents of all the islands. But when no one spotted Barnes, everyone started to fear the worst.
When the inhabitants bring Barnes back, his teacher still couldn’t believe his student was alive.
âMy first reaction was to think that they were pulling his body back, because it was so long and it was dark. Then one of my students came out and said, âShe’s alive! She’s alive ! Gilchrist said. “Everyone burst into tears and grabbed her.”
Gilchrist is going to make sure something like this never happens again under his watch. Next year, she plans to make it mandatory for students to wear bright orange life jackets when they go out. snorkeling, and even think of GPS devices that follow students in the water.
âUltimately, however, don’t go out alone,â she said.
It had lasted sixteen long hours for Barnes. She has suffered severe sunburns, jellyfish stings, blisters and hallucinations from dehydration, but is alive and recovering at her grandmother’s in Florida.
âI’m safe, well-liked and ready to take a break from the beach for a while,â Barnes wrote on Facebook.
Lost at sea: Marine biology student Heather Barnes was visiting Honduras on a school trip when she got lost at sea while collecting coral solo one morning