A Father You Can Count On
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They called it the "perfect storm." The remains of a hurricane combined with some storm fronts over New England to create a weather monster. The movie, The Perfect Storm, tells the story of one fishing crew's heroic but unsuccessful battle to survive that storm. Author Peter Hiett tells of another battle for survival that took place to the south, just off the New Jersey shore. John had taken his six-year-old daughter sailing that same day, but he didn't check the weather report. Six miles out, he found himself suddenly in trouble as a major storm seemed to come from nowhere. It wasn't long before their boat capsized, and John and his daughter were in the water and their life preservers were swept out to sea with their boat.
Now, John knew he couldn't possibly swim the six miles to shore and hold on to his little girl. Back home, in the family swimming pool, little Mary had learned to float on her back, and that's what her dad told her to do until he could get back. He said, "Mary, you float on your back and I'll swim to shore. And I'll be back for you." Three hours later, the Coast Guard found John, and they started looking with him for his little girl, amid 20-to-30-foot swells. Miraculously, their spotlight found her. She'd been floating for nearly five hours. Later, the rescuers asked her, "How did you do that, Mary?" And her answer was amazing. She said, "My daddy said I could float on my back as long as I wanted to, and that he would come back for me. My daddy always does what he says."