Illustration by John Aymong
As darkness fell, Nick says the men assumed their positions on and around the boat. Marquis was face-down, clutching a cooler on top of the exposed bow. Nick was next to Marquis, crouching with one foot on the hull of the boat and the other on the swim platform. At Nick's feet, Will perched on the swim platform next to the engine. At Marquis' feet, Corey held on to the boat, the only one submerged in water.
As conditions deteriorated, Nick says the waves threw them from the boat over and over again. "We'd hear them approach and scream, 'Hold on,' trying to brace ourselves."
Nick says he began to realize they might not survive. "I think everyone was starting to think to themselves, 'This is real. Oh my God. There's a good chance we might not make it out of this,'" he says.
Nick says Corey refused to give up. "Corey kept stating, 'No way in hell I'm going out like this.'"