(CBS News) John Riggs says he was faced with a life-or-death decision. The boat he and his family had been fishing from in Chesapeake Bay, Md., last Tuesday was sinking, and they feared they only had hours to live. As night fell and a storm rolled in, Riggs decided to make the five-hour swim back to shore.
The family he left behind -- his sister, his 9-year-old niece, his 3-year-old nephew and his 70-year-old father -- were left to bob in the water hoping and praying that he would make it to shore alive.
John finally reached land five hours later, and called 911 from a house by the shore.
More than seven hours after their boat had capsized, Riggs' family was rescued. But he doesn't think of himself as a hero.
"I don't feel like it. A hero's Superman or something like that. I just a family man, just trying to take care of my family," he said.
To hear from the family as they listen to Riggs' 911 call for the first time, watch Jeff Pegues' full report in the player above.