Tarpon Springs shrimper back home after being caught at sea during Hurricane Irma

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) — A shrimper is back home in Tarpon Springs tonight after being caught on the water, floating in a life raft for more than an hour as Hurricane Irma released her fury.

Captain Edward Potter is a third generation shrimper.

When he arrived at the Tampa International Airport to head home Wednesday night visibly shaking, his first words were to recognize his rescuers.

“The Nassau Embassy and the Carnival Cruise line, working with the US Coast Guard to make my recovery possible,” Captain Edward said.

He was shrimping near the Bahamas with his first mate, Carl Shepherd, when Irma’s wrath became too much for their 75-foot St. Augustine Troller.

Captain Edward managed to get into a raft, but his first mate wasn’t as lucky.

“Carl Shepherd was the best man ever,” Captain Edward said. “Best, best man. Best friend. And I can’t say any more than that right now, but I love that man.”

After floating at sea for at least an hour, someone onboard a Carnival cruise ship passing by spotted Edward.

“It’s been a trying few days,” he said. “I would rather not say anything else right now. Thank you.”

Also lost at sea was Captain Edward’s beloved cat, Motor Boat.

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