Dramatic Rescue By Coast Guard. Victims Nearly Eaten By Sharks.

Three people became stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for more than a day after their boat sank over the weekend, with two of them fighting off shark attacks until rescue arrived, according to authorities, after a fishing trip turned into a rescue mission.

A concern family member reported the three missing after they hadn’t returned from their fishing trip Saturday, and rescuers found them in the water about 25 miles off Empire, Louisiana, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 8th District Heartland.

Two of the trio were fending off sharks in the water when rescue crews found them. Helicopters took them to a hospital after a boat crew pulled them out.

A third boater was hoisted from the water. They are all in stable condition, with two suffering hand injuries and one showing signs of hypothermia when rescued, the Coast Guard said.

“If the family member had not notified the Coast Guard, and if these three boaters were not wearing life jackets, this could’ve been a completely different outcome,” Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Keefe, Sector New Orleans Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, said in a statement.

It is estimated that the trio’s boat sank around 10 a.m. on Saturday, according to officials, and rescuers searched an area of about 1,250 square miles.

“We appreciate the assistance of the boating public, which helped identify possible areas where these boaters may have been operating before the vessel became distressed,” Keefe said.