ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA (WAWS/CNN) - A 19-year-old is safe after he said he spent nearly 10 hours in the ocean fighting for his life.
It happened off the Georgia coast where he said he was pulled out to sea while on the beach.
"Worst vacation ever, but also my most exciting," said Blake Spataro.
But its the kind of excitement everyone would like to avoid.
"I was out there sitting by the shore when a rip tide washes me straight into the ocean," Spataro said. "I didn't want to die out there, I was talking to God the entire night."
He screamed for help but no one heard him over the waves and wind and he continued to get pulled out to sea.
"I wanted to live, I wanted to live," he said. "I was too young to die and I simply didn't want it to end there."
The U.S. Coast Guard searched in the sky and by boat along with multiple other agencies.
Spataro's father Kirk Krycka spent all night walking along the beach searching for his son.
"I was screaming," Krycka said. "I was hollering, I was looking."
Throughout the night the Spataro did his best to stay calm.
"Whenever I was tired, I floated on my back," he said.
He was about to give up, but then a ray of hope.
Lights from an approaching Coast Guard boat boosted his spirits.
"That gave me some comfort and gave me some motivation to keep going," Spataro said.
He kept pushing through until he came across a golf course early the following morning where he got help.
"I'm alive," he said.
"I've been in the coast guard for 18 years and I have never seen anything like this," said Justin Irwin a senior chief with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Irwin visited Spataro in the hospital to let him know how amazed and proud he was.
"I am truly blessed to be alive today," Spataro said.
Spataro was able to get close enough to that golf course to make his own way shore.
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