A seven-year-old boy who was in a coma after spending six hours in a freezing ocean has miraculously survived the harrowing ordeal.
Julian Hohnen, his father Maike and a family friend were thrown into the sea after Mr Hohnen's boat capsized off Caloundra on Australia's Sunshine Coast.
The trio were hauled out of the water on Sunday morning after a search and rescue effort was launched, and Julian was placed in an induced coma in hospital.
He opened his eyes on Monday and is now stable and chatting with family members and hospital staff in what has been described as a miraculous survival.
The youngster had spent six long, dark hours in the water with his father Maike, 38, and family friend Stephen Jeacocke, 48, Yahoo! News reported.
His chance of survival initially seemed bleak as he was treated for hypothermia and was in a critical condition.
His mother Susan posted a photo of Julian in hospital and wrote on Facebook : “I would like to say thank you to everyone for their love, support and prayers for my son Julian Hohnen. He is recovering well."
The parents also said in a statement: “Our son has improved significantly today and is now in a stable condition and talking to us. This is a testament to his fighting spirit,” they wrote.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for our son, including the amazing emergency services, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Queensland Children’s Hospital.
“He still requires further assessment, but his improvement today has given us hope.”
Mr Hohnen and Mr Jeacocke also suffered hypothermia.
While they waited to be rescued they took turns keeping Julian afloat while clinging to debris from the five-metre (16ft) boat.
The search and rescue operation was launched after the boat started taking on water about eight miles out at sea and the group put out a distress call.
Crew members on board an anchored tanker spotted the trio and led a search team to them.
Julian was winched into a rescue helicopter and flown to hospital.
Police pulled Mr Hohnen and Mr Jeacocke from the sea, and both have since been released from hospital.
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