A 17-year-old girl in Florida was literally up the waterway without a paddle.

Karlin O’Neill said she was kayaking with family members Sunday off the shore of Tarpon Springs, Fla. when she got separated from her group, forcing a U.S. Coast Guard team to rush in and rescue her.

“This boat went by and part of the wake, I went right into it,” O’Neill told Fox13. “It almost tipped my kayak, but I only lost the paddle.”

O’Neill tried shouting and whistling to no avail. Her family was too far beyond her and never heard her pleas for help.

As the hours passed by and day turned to night, O’Neill tried not to let her imagination get the best of her.

“The moonlight, the way it was hitting the waves, it looked like it was sharks or something, and that really freaked me out,” she said.

Finally, a U.S. Coast Guard boat spotted her four miles off shore and pulled her to safety. Despite being adrift for eight hours, O’Neill reportedly showed only signs of mild hypothermia.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Frank Cheske said O’Neill did everything right: She stayed in the kayak, drank fresh water she had in bottles on board and kept her life jacket on.

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