The Marino family was vacationing in Daytona Beach, Florida when disaster struck!
Ed Marino‘s autistic son Christopher was swimming when the 12 year-old became caught in a current and was suddenly swept away. His father jumped in after him and they spent the next 15 hours treading water overnight in the dank Atlantic,
Marino told The Today Show that a catchphrase from the Disney/Pixar cartoon Toy Story kept hope alive as he called to his son in the dark.
Throughout the long night, Marino would call out, "To infinity" and then Christopher would respond "And beyond!"
"Buzz Lightyear got us through," Marino said "I’d be screaming ‘To infinity, and beyond,’ and then I would hear him, and it would get more and more distant until finally I couldn’t hear anything else."
Finally, a boater found the distraught father the next morning and Marino feared the worst. Two hours later when the Coast Guard asked him to come aboard their rescue boat, his heart sank.
The officers then told Marino that Christopher had been rescued about a mile from where Marino was recovered.
"I never kissed so many Coast Guard men in my life," Marino said.