Last Sunday night, a powerful wave capsized Zack Romanak's boat off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Romanak, his 10-year-old son Noah, and Brad Warren, a tourist from California they had met earlier that day, clung to the boat for nearly four hours in dark waters. The impact of the wave had snapped Warren's femur in three places and broke his prosthetic hip, according to local news site The Garden Island.
Warren was beginning to question if he'd make it, when Noah heard something in the distance. He told the men to listen.
It was music coming from a party in the harbor; the song "Don't Stop Believin'" by the '80s band Journey blared from the speakers. Warren said as he listened, he saw a star shoot through the sky.
"I saw that shooting star," Warren told KITV4 News, "and I heard Journey's song ... I felt that was the Lord saying, 'You're gonna be fine.'"
The group was on their way back from a fishing trip when their 19-foot boat flipped over, the Associated Press reports. As water rushed in, Romanak, the boat's captain, swam into the vessel to retrieve life vests. He found two and gave one to Warren and one to his son.
Romanak thought it would be safest to stay by the boat until morning. As they waited, they prayed and listened to Warren scream from the pain. Waves continued to batter his leg, at times knocking him off the boat and forcing him to pull himself back up.
When the three heard the song and Warren saw the shooting star, they took it as a sign to swim to shore.
Romanak led the group -- his son holding onto him and Warren holding onto Noah -- as they swam through the dark sea, fearful of being pulled away by strong currents or of sharks looming below.
“We went for it," Romanak told The Garden Island. He estimated it would take them about two hours to make to land, but "within a half an hour, we were on the shore."
When they reached the Kekaha Harbor, Romanak ran for help and called 911. People poured out from the party to assist the group, and Kauai firefighters arrived shortly after midnight.
The next morning, Romanak's sunken boat was found a mile offshore. Romanak told The Garden Island that he blamed the accident on his decision to make it back to the harbor in such dangerous conditions.
Warren, however, called Romanak a hero and Noah a rockstar for helping him through the ordeal, and says he's just happy to have made it out alive.
Hold on to that feelin', Mr. Warren.