It was supposed to be a fun sailing trip from New Jersey to the Florida Keys for two friends and a miniature poodle named Minnie.
But things didn’t go as planned. On Dec. 3, after the men departed Oregon Inlet, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they lost contact with their families, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
They also lost power and fuel, leaving them adrift for more than 10 days.
On Tuesday, the men, Joe DiTomasso, 76, and Kevin Hyde, 65, were rescued along with Minnie after the crew of a tanker vessel named the Silver Muna spotted them about 214 miles off the coast of Delaware, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.
“We are overjoyed with the outcome of the case and look forward to reuniting Mr. Hyde and Mr. DiTomasso with their family and friends,” Cmdr. Daniel Schrader, a spokesman for Coast Guard Atlantic Area, said in the statement.
Mr. DiTomasso, a retired auto mechanic from Cape May, N.J., and Mr. Hyde embarked on their trip on Nov. 27, Nina DiTomasso, Mr. DiTomasso’s daughter, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“They wanted to escape and get to warmer weather,” she said.
When she and her family were unable to reach Mr. DiTomasso by phone days later, they didn’t think much of it at first.
“My dad is really bad with his phone and charger,” she said. “We kept calling and it kept going to voice mail.”
“But then we got worried because people couldn’t reach Kevin either,” Ms. DiTomasso continued. Another concern, she said, was that her father’s credit card had not been used since Dec. 3.
On Sunday, the Coast Guard started a search by air and sea that covered more than 21,100 square miles of water from northern Florida to New Jersey.
The men were aboard a 30-foot sailboat, Atrevida II — the word means “daring” in Spanish — when they ran out of fuel and power, rendering their radios and navigation equipment inoperable, the Coast Guard said, adding that the sailboat’s mast also broke off.
The men had been drifting for more than 10 days when they caught the attention of the tanker’s crew by waving their arms, according to the Coast Guard.
“My dad was waving a green flag,” Ms. DiTomasso said.
The crew brought Mr. DiTomasso, his dog and Mr. Hyde onto the tanker, where they were evaluated by members of the ship’s medical staff, the Coast Guard said.
Commander Schrader said the men were “very cold and fatigued” when they came aboard.
The men were expected to be taken to New York Harbor and brought ashore on Wednesday for further evaluation, and to be reunited with their families, the Coast Guard said.
Ms. DiTomasso, who is pregnant, said she was looking forward to the reunion.
“We keep saying this is our Christmas miracle,” she said. “I am just so thankful that my dad will get to meet his next grandchild in May.”