"We said this was going to be once in a lifetime, and it really was -- but not for the reasons we thought," survivor Jody Gouge, told a local television station.
Alisa Gouge Hawkins, one of the men's wives, wrote on her Facebook page: "Thank you to all the men and women that risk their ives [sic] every day to save someone else! Today especially, THE US COAST GUARD!!! As Xander says "frogman" he's the one that came out of the helicopter to get them!"
"Without that, this might have been a drastically different story," he said. "They stuck together, which is very important on the water."
All seven survivors were treated and released from an area hospital, Evanson said.