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Lost at Sea: Troy Driscoll Tells of Ordeal

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 2, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight: On April 24, 15-year-old Troy Driscoll (search) and his best friend, 17-year-old Josh Long (search), went sailing off Sullivan's Island in South Carolina. Almost immediately, the wind blew them out to sea. And they were lost for six days. Many thought they were dead. But on Saturday, they were spotted more than 100 miles from where their journey began and rescued.

Joining us now from Charleston is Troy Driscoll and his parents Deb Fowler and Tony Driscoll. They are out in front of the hospital, where Troy is being treated.

Troy, when you were floating out to sea and you knew that it was — you know, you were gone, nobody was going to help you, what was going through your mind?

TROY DRISCOLL, SURVIVED SIX DAYS LOST AT SEA: It was quite a panic. I really didn't know what to do. And my friend and I, we were just — it was quite a shock. And our minds were quite blank. And we knew once that we started going that fast, that we were going to have a run for our money.

O'REILLY: Did you panic?

TROY DRISCOLL: Yes, we panicked a lot. A lot went through our minds. And it just really was a big shock to us.

O'REILLY: What did you eat out there?

TROY DRISCOLL: The third day the water was pretty blue because we were offshore a little farther. And I saw little jelly balls floating in the water, so I caught one. And they were a string — they're like a string of them. And I ate one string and went to bed and woke up the next morning and I was fine. So Josh caught more and I ate more. And he didn't eat any of them. He only ate one string. But that's all I really had to eat.

O'REILLY: So you were eating raw jellyfish?

TROY DRISCOLL: That's correct.

O'REILLY: And what were you drinking?

TROY DRISCOLL: I was gargling with saltwater, when you gargle with the — I drank like one or two handfuls of it.

O'REILLY: Because that just makes you thirstier, doesn't it, drinking saltwater?

TROY DRISCOLL: Yes, it does dehydrate you. But it also — we thought of it as putting liquid to our mouths. And it helped the dryness get a little bit of fluid in there. But every time we did that, it got more drier and drier.

O'REILLY: Yes.

TROY DRISCOLL: So I mean, it was wet. And then yet another five minutes later, your tongue was white because of the salt and you're dehydrated.

O'REILLY: Did you think you were going to die?

TROY DRISCOLL: Yes, I did. I asked my friend to kill me one time, even though that sounds crazy, but I thought I was going to die after the -- like the fifth day out there because ships almost hit us. And it was just crazy. You couldn't see land. And nobody was stopping. We had no food or water. And it was — like you had — I had no faith at all thinking that we were going to survive.

O'REILLY: Now you got severely sunburned. We can see it on camera. How painful was that?

TROY DRISCOLL: It's painful, yes.

O'REILLY: How did you handle that in the boat when it was happening?

TROY DRISCOLL: When we got rescued or how did we handle it just being out on sea?

O'REILLY: Just being out on the sea?

TROY DRISCOLL: It was rough. I took all my clothes off except for my boxers because the saltwater in our jeans — I had jeans on and it would get really crusty and hard to move. And when — it will rub against your skin, you'll get rash.

So I really didn't think of it too much. And I just laid out on the boat. But Josh was covered most of the time. That's why I think I got a little bit more sun than he did, but it definitely hurts.

O'REILLY: How did you get rescued?

TROY DRISCOLL: Well, we were — it was Sunday — was it Sunday? Saturday. And we were praying. And we were about to go to bed, because it was 5:30ish. It wasn't too cold, it wasn't too hot. And it was a good time to go to bed. And he started — I was done praying. And then he started praying over his family.

And then, as he was down on the boat, I heard a boat engine. And I looked up and I couldn't see anything until a wave came and lifted us up a little higher. And I saw it coming right towards us. So we started waving our hands and got their attention.

O'REILLY: Well, that was a miracle, huh?

TROY DRISCOLL: Yes, it was.

O'REILLY: Yes. Were you saying your prayers, because they were answered.

TROY DRISCOLL: Oh, definitely.

O'REILLY: Now Ms. — yes. Ms. Fowler, I mean, did you give up on Troy? Six days is a long time out in open water.

DEB FOWLER, SURVIVOR'S MOTHER: Well, Bill, I tell you, it fluctuated. You know, at first I thought oh, we're going to find him stuck in the mud. You know, and that was like the first night, although it was cold.

And then there was the second night, it got colder and windier. And by the third and fourth day, you know, I was holding onto as much faith as I knew.

And by the seventh day — or I guess Saturday afternoon, I had asked my preacher, Jim Weathers (ph), that I'm very close to, like how long can this roller coaster last because it was so devastating. Every time the Coast Guard would come and say there was no change, no change, we found nothing. And I don't know if I was trying to prepare for the worst.

And I guess it was the very last day that I had my very least amount of hope. And the only hope I had left was that they had actually not found any part of that 14-foot boat. They had found no life jackets, no clothing, nothing that would tell me that these boys weren't alive.

O'REILLY: Yes.

FOWLER: So after that, I mean, I don't know how many days I could have lasted past Saturday.

O'REILLY: You know, it's truly amazing. And Mr. Driscoll, I guess, you know, you felt the same thing, right? Did you give up hope?

TONY DRISCOLL, SURVIVOR'S FATHER: I really never gave up hope, because you know, I just couldn't imagine Troy never coming home. Just every day, you know, all my friends and all the people that were trying to go out there to help find them, they would just run a different scenario every day. And it was, you know, it was just hard to believe we didn't have any clues. And every day, they just tried to run a different scenario on where they could be and which way they went. And you know, we were just looking. You know, and I really never gave up hope.

O'REILLY: Well, it's an amazing story.

Now Troy, one more question. There were sharks out there, right?

TROY DRISCOLL: Yes.

O'REILLY: Did they bother you? Did you see them?

TROY DRISCOLL: Well, we were going to go swimming and wash our clothes off because we smelled pretty bad and our clothes were really dry. And I was on the back and Josh was on the front dangling his feet. And I was about to jump in and he was about to jump in.

And as the time we were about to, this shark came up to the boat. And we said, you know, that's it, we can't do this no more.

O'REILLY: Wow.

TROY DRISCOLL: So we didn't go in the water from there on out.

O'REILLY: Well listen, Troy, we're all glad you're safe. You know, stay close to shore for a while.

Folks, we appreciate it very much.

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