California man survives frigid five-hour night swim with a friendly seal as his guide

His fate was seal-ed.

A California man thought he would die when he fell off his fishing boat and into the frigid Pacific Ocean — but a friendly harbor seal showed up in the nick of time and helped get him to safety.

Scott Thompson, a sea urchin diver, blamed a lapse in judgment for the mishap that sent him falling off his boat into the Santa Barbara Channel in the middle of the night last month. “I thought to myself, ‘Great, this is how I’m going to die. Today is the day I’m going to die,'” Thompson, who was wearing nothing but his shorts and T-shirt at the time, told KABC-TV.

Thompson said he left the boat’s motor running and it quickly got away from him. “That’s when I realized, like, ‘OK, we got problems,'” he said. “And I just started swimming as hard as I could, towards the boat, and it really didn’t take too long to realize like, it’s getting farther, I’m not getting closer.”

Thompson said that’s when he began to fear for his life, then a friendly seal showed up to help.