See the Moment Family Finds Son Who Got Lost at Sea While Free Diving: 'We Know How Lucky We Are'

As soon as Dylan Gartenmayer's family learned he was missing, they began searching for him in the water — and a now-viral video captured the moment they found him

A Florida family leapt into action after learning that one of their own had gone missing at sea — and a now-viral video captured their ecstatic reaction when they spotted him in the water and were able to rescue him.

Dylan Gartenmayer, 22, was free diving near Key West on Jan. 19 when the weather conditions started to worsen, according to NBC affiliate WTVJ. However, he thought he had time for one last dive.

"That's where everything started happening," Dylan told the outlet.

Although he was free diving with friends, Dylan told WTVJ that when he got swept away by the current, he spent around two minutes underwater.

"That's how I ended up getting separated," he told the outlet.

When he finally resurfaced, Dylan said he was about a mile away from where he had been diving — then he had to swim for over a mile to make it to a channel marker. And although he could see Coast Guard helicopters "out in the distance," they couldn't see him.

"I was ready to fight the night out, but I'm glad I didn't have to," he recalled.

Unbeknownst to him, his family was already taking matters into their own hands.

"We got a phone call that my cousin went missing and [the] Coast Guard had been looking for almost 2 hours," Priscilla Gartenmayer wrote alongside a now-viral TikTok video documenting the rescue mission.

"We immediately hopped on our boat," she continued, adding that they went to his last-known coordinates.

Then, one of his friends spotted something in the water, which turned out to be a makeshift raft Dylan made by tying several buoys together, according to WTVJ.

It didn't take long before the entire group to realize they'd found him.

"There he is," someone called out in the TikTok video, which has been viewed nearly 40 million times, before the rest of the boat burst into cheers.

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In a follow-up video, Priscilla wrote that after getting him into their boat, the Coast Guard came by to check on his vitals. "He had a low core temp but that's about it!" she shared. "He spent the night in his bed safe and sound."

Noting that "too often missing diver cases don't have positive outcomes," the Coast Guard said in a statement that Dylan's quick-thinking in the water helped save his life.

"Sunset, weather conditions and Dylan's outfit were playing against us in this case, but his foresight to lash mooring balls together to make him a bigger target in the water was smart," Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Lieutenant Commander Elizabeth Tatum told WTVJ.

As soon as he made it onto the boat, Dylan told WTVJ said his mother "started hugging" him — and crying.

Added his cousin, "We know how lucky we are."

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