Bridge City teen stranded off coast of Honduras returns home - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Bridge City teen stranded off coast of Honduras returns home

Updated:
Amber Burkett Amber Burkett

Bridge City, La. - A 16-year-old girl from Bridge City who was stranded on a boat off the coast of Honduras is finally home. Family and friends gathered to welcome the teen, who admits she didn't know if she'd make it home alive.

Amber Burkett's grandmother cried tears of joy Saturday night as she hugged the teen, who was lost at sea last Saturday and wasn't heard from for several days.

Sue Capehart says of the days leading up to Burkett's homecoming, "It was a roller coaster ride of emotion and tears and pacing and walking."

The 25-foot boat that Burkett was on with eight others ran out of fuel. Without food or water, Burkett admits, she didn't think she would survive.

"Tuesday I was really sick, I couldn't move. I couldn't talk, my hands were turning purple. I was just out of it and at that point I was like, you know, I'm going to die. Started praying and asked God if he could forgive me of all my sins and pray he took me a better place," Burkett remembered.

Wednesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard located the boat.  Burkett explains, "It was a plane that we flagged down and they circled around us and they dropped the smoke thing and then a helicopter came."

Burkett had to spend time in the hospital for dehydration and a bad sunburn, but she was able to fly home Saturday and make it into the arms of her waiting friends and family.

"It feels good. I didn't think I was ever going to get home so it's a wonderful feeling to finally be home," said Burkett.

Many at the house, including Burkett's cousin Miranda Rhoto, made signs welcoming the teen back home.

Rhoto says, "I just didn't know if she could be dead or alive or if somebody could have taken her and it just broke my heart and once I found out [she was safe], I was whole again."

Burkett's mother Jackie says she was sick with worry this past week but says of her daughter, "I can't imagine what she went through, don't even want to be in her shoes. She's strong, she's a survivor."

The teen isn't letting her near-death experience stop her from traveling, with one exception. "I'm not going to get on a boat anymore. I'm going to stay away from the boats," Burkett said.

Burkett's family is planning a huge party Sunday for her to celebrate her safe arrival home. They say this experience has brought the family so much closer.

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