Volunteer firefighters pulled Riggs and her family onto a boat but it was only until they were taken to a second boat that Riggs was reunited with her brother.
"It was the most amazing feeling. I ran up to John and said you are my hero."
The family is safely back on shore, with no significant injuries.
"Everybody is fine. But really, there were some very beautiful moments in the water. We were terrified, but the sky had never been clearer and we could see all the stars in the Milky Way. There was no light pollution," Riggs said. "The water was glowing blue with the flourescent jelly fish."
"I'm so grateful to the first responders that came and helped us out. I was so happy to see them and I love all of them. And I am so proud of my family, especially my brother. We survived together."
Friends and family are taking care of the survivors.
"Everybody has just been great," Riggs said.
"My friends have been cooking for us," she said, "They said I shouldn't have to worry about dinner after all of this. And I think they're right."
ABC News was unable to reach the Deal Island Volunteer Fire Department.