Family, Including 70-Year-Old Father, Cling to Capsized Boat

Posted: July 12, 2013  |  By: Geetika Rudra [Good Morning America]

A mother fought to keep her family alive as they clung to their capsized boat in cold water infested with jelly fish while her brother swam for five hours to get help.

Contessa L. Riggs, 43, of Washington D.C., was fishing off the coast of Deal Island, Md., on Tuesday with her brother, John Franklin Riggs, her 70-year old father, 9-year-old niece and 3-year-old son, when a thunder storm struck.

"It was sundown. The water suddenly became very choppy and a wave crashed into the boat, filling the boat with water," Riggs told ABC News.

Their boat was only 16 feet long and Riggs and her brother immediately knew they were in trouble.

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