SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A whale hit the back of his sailboat tearing a hole in it. This happened yesterday off the coast of Mexico, about 400 miles south of San Diego.

Max Young was on the last leg journey around the world when the whale smashed through the back of his boat.

His wife, Debra, is still in shock he was able to stay above water for hours before any help arrived.

“They told me the plane had located him and he was okay and he was taking water on,” said Debra.

Even though her husband is safe, Debra still has a hard time holding back the tears when she thinks about how close Max came to never coming back home.

Sixty-six-year-old Max’s journey around the world was cut two days short Wednesday when a whale ran into his boat, knocking off the rudder and leaving a big hole.

“He said the front end flipped way up and crashing down, he said 20 feet. He said everything was all over the place after that,” said Debra.

The seasoned sailor was stranded at sea and a dramatic rescue came just in time.

“He said there was two feet before she was completely under,” said Debra.

Debra says he battled the rushing water for 9 hours, by stuffing mattresses in the hole before the coast guard spotted him. And that’s when she finally got the call he was okay.

The family’s boat, filled with decades of memories from around the world, is now filled with ocean water and is sinking off the coast.

Max’s daughter says she’s always looked up to her father, but now, she couldn’t be more proud of him.

“A hero, just cause he goes after his dreams,” Max’s daughter said.

Max is currently on a freighter heading towards Panama. The family hopes to have him home in time for Father’s Day.


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