A shooting star and the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’” are what a California man says got him through a nearly five-hour ordeal of being tossed into the sea with a shattered leg and broken hip after his fishing boat capsized off the coast of Hawaii.
Brad Warren was fishing Sunday night on a boat owned and captained by Zack Romanak and Romanak’s 10-year-old son, Noah, of Port Allen, Hawaii, when a large wave hit the boat and twisted it sideways, sending all three passengers into the ocean.
The wave’s impact shattered Warren’s leg in three places and broke his hip before submerging him.
“I tilted my head back to get another last breath of air and a swell pushed the boat and I took a big gulp of water and started going down,” Warren, 54, told ABC News from his hospital bed. “It was scary.”
The trio spent more than four hours in the water, alternately clamoring to the top of the boat and then being knocked back into the water by the relentless waves.
With no hope in sight, it was Noah who suddenly heard something in the distance, the sounds of Journey’s inspirational 1981 hit song playing from a party on the shore.
“After I saw that shooting star and I heard the Journey song, ‘Don’t Stop Believin',’ I thought that was the Lord saying, ‘You will be fine,’” Warren recalled.
The men, especially Warren, decided to push past their pain and try to swim to land.
“He just wanted to swim in,” Noah said of Warren.
“He was convinced the pain was so bad,” Noah’s dad, Romanak, told ABC News.
With no use of his right side, Warren swam alongside Noah and Romanak for 30 minutes until they found dry land.
“We were so relieved,” said Warren. “My wife, my daughters, I wanted to make sure I made it to see them.”
A handful of the partygoers who had unknowingly inspired Warren with their song choice came to the men’s aid once they made it to shore, according to the local Garden Island.
Firefighters arrived at the harbor shortly after midnight and treated the three survivors, the paper reports.
The Garden Island also reports that Romanak’s sunken boat was later found one-mile offshore.