RED BANK - A 19-year-old Highlands man who was stranded at sea overnight says that although he was scared during the ordeal, he and his family are used to overcoming adversity. The family has been displaced from their home since Superstorm Sandy.
Dylan Gowan is still being treated for dehydration, but no longer feels muscle weakness after spending nearly 12 hours stranded on a light tower in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Gowan was driving his friend's personal water craft from Brooklyn back to New Jersey when it malfunctioned. He was rescued by the Coast Guard early Wednesday morning while attempting to swim back to shore.
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Gowan has been recovering at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. He says the experience has made it tough to sleep.
"I had a little bit of a problem when I closed my eyes. I would hear the sound of the waves and stuff like that, but it went away and I was able to go to sleep," says Gowan.
Gowan says he was anxious to get home because the family's new pre-fabricated home was going to be delivered Thursday. However when it was delivered to the family's Highlands property, they found it was too big to fit on the previous foundation. It will be sent back to Pennsylvania to be cut down.
Although the family has been displaced since the storm, Dylan's mother Kerry Gowan isn't too upset.
She says nearly losing her son puts everything into perspective. "I'm not flipping out. I'm not panicking. I got the truest miracle of life, my son was rescued from the ocean and nothing else matters."
Gowan is expected to be released from the hospital on Friday. He says that the first thing he will do is meet with the first responders who rescued him so he can thank them.