An offshore fishing trip turned tragic for two Texas men after their boat sank and forced the men into the cold waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

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For hours after their boat sank, Ken Henderson and Ed Coen treaded water in the Gulf of Mexico, talking about life and death while struggling to survive. For more than 30 hours, it worked. Then Henderson was forced to make a decision that would save his life, but not his best friend’s. “This is the last-ditch effort, but I’m going to go for help or you’re not going to make it,” Henderson told Coen, just before cutting the strap that connected them in the deep, cold waters off the Texas coast. “I understand,” Coen responded, giving Henderson a last set of instructions. “Kiss them babies for me.”

Henderson was eventually rescued after crawling onto a derrick some 50 miles from where their boat had sunk. Coen’s body was found by an angler a short time later. Tragic story, and a terrible reminder of how quickly things can go wrong.