Two sailors, a dog and sailboat rescued after ten days in the Atlantic | USA TODAY

Two men took off in their 30-foot boat, but a storm damaged their vessel sending them hundreds of miles off course in the Atlantic.

RELATED: Boaters 'fending off sharks' before Coast Guard rescue

His voice was broken up by a bad connection. But on Dec. 3, Joe DiTomasso left a message with his daughter: The sailboat journey to the Florida Keys was going well. Then the 76-year-old, a former auto mechanic from New Jersey, stopped responding.

For the next 10 frantic days, fears grew as the silence continued. The Coast Guard launched a massive search of 21,000 square miles of ocean for DiTomasso and his friend, Kevin Hyde, 65.

The two men and a dog named Minnie had left New Jersey on Thanksgiving weekend on a 30-foot sailboat bound for Marathon, Florida, but hadn't been heard from since reaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “We were mentally preparing for the worst,” Nina DiTomasso, 37, told USA TODAY.

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  1. Joke begins this way. Add your ending…
    “Two sailors, a dog and a sailboat go into the Atlantic….”

  2. Great job on the crew of the tanker that spotted’ em! Sailor, dog AND boat, what’s this elementary skool?! Also, why boat counted as another one rescued😂

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