MYAKKA CITY, Fla. — What was supposed to be a fun boating excursion through the Gulf turned into a nightmare for Myakka City residents Glenn and Amy McIntyre.

  • Couple believes the fire could have been electrical 
  • Flames reached up to 20 feet
  • They say their faith kept them calm while awaiting help
  • More Manatee County headlines

Their boat 'Ohana' was roughly 30 miles southwest of Marco Island when the fire began on Thursday.

"We kind of looked at each other and said, 'This is just like in the movies!'" Glenn explained. 

The flames started to overtake the boat, so the couple grabbed their two puppies and made their way into a dinghy. 

"I busted out the kitchen window, reached in there with gaff hook and pulled out a gallon of water and two boxes of cereal," Glenn said. 'I was thinking that would keep us alive for a couple of days." 

The couple watched as flames reaching 20 feet high overtook their boat. They say with nothing but open water around, they expected to be stranded on the dinghy for days. 

"There's two outcomes, we're gonna make it or we're going to heaven," she said. "Obviously we wished we could say goodbye to people, or tell them you love them one more time."

Both Glenn and Amy are widowed and got married on 'Ohana' just over a year ago. Amy says it was heartbreaking to watch it burn. ​The two say it was their faith that kept them calm as they waited to be rescued.

Hours later, they spotted the Atlantic Cat Ferry, operated by Key West Express, come into view. The ferry made its way to the stranded boaters and pulled them and the puppies to safety. They were greeted by passengers with hugs and cheers. 

Glenn believes the fire was electrical and started near the boat generator.