It was anything but an ordinary day at sea for the captains of the 45-foot charter fishing vessel Vendetta in Point Loma, near San Diego, after coming upon a man stranded at sea after his skiff capsized.
Late last Thursday morning, as the charter boat was returning from a fishing expedition, one of the passengers on board heard faint, but fearful, cries for help coming from somewhere in the choppy waters.
"One of the passengers noticed that a skiff had turned over, so we went up to the scene," Vendetta co-captain Ray Summer told CBS 8 News.
That 16-foot-skiff had taken on water in the turbulent conditions and flipped over, dumping the sole occupant of the small craft overboard without a life jacket. As the Vendetta approached, the man - clutching a flotation cushion - was desperately climbing onto the hull of the overturned skiff.
"He was definitely scared at that point," said Captain Nick Lambert. "He was holding on for his life."