"It is a truly amazing thing," Tom Emerick, the Coast Guard swimmer who scooped up 12-year-old Chris Marino, told CBS' The Early Show. "Twelve hours is a long time" to tread water. Emerick said Chris, who is autistic, was very quiet and calm throughout the rescue.
Chris Marino and his father, Walter were swept away by the tide Saturday and found by rescuers the next morning, the Coast Guard said. The father was found about 8 miles from shore and the boy two hours later and one mile from his father.
Both were in good condition Monday at a local hospital.
Coast Guard co-pilot Lt. David Birky said his team was optimistic about finding Chris once they found his father, but that spotting a head from 300 feet "looks like the size of a pin."
Authorities said Chris Marino was swimming when he became caught in a current. His 46-year-old father jumped in to save the boy. Marino's daughter saw them being carried out to sea and called the Coast Guard.
The two became separated after dark as they floated in 3-foot swells. The family is from Oviedo in central Florida.