Beer Cooler, GPS Beacon Save 4 at Sea Two men and their sons stayed afloat long enough for rescue By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff Posted Jan 6, 2012 6:00 PM CST 7 comments Comments It's a flotation device, too. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Two friends and their sons were saved from drowning by some quick thinking and an unlikely hero: a beer cooler. Scott Smiles and Rick Matthews were on a fishing trip with their 11-year-old sons off the coast of Sydney, Australia, yesterday, when their 40-foot boat started on fire five miles out to sea, reports ABC News. Smiles tossed the cooler overboard as a flotation device, grabbed a GPS emergency beacon, and the group jumped into the 200-feet-deep water. They were able to stay afloat for the 45 minutes it took a rescue chopper to reach them.