TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — When Colten Sakadales emerged from the Spring Bayou on January 6, 2021 holding a white cross, his older brother Hunter looked out to see who retrieved it. Soon after, he realized it was Colten. That was one year after Hunter retrieved the cross.

What You Need To Know

  • Sakadales brothers retrieved the Epiphany cross back-to-back

  • Hunter retrieved it in 2020 and Colten retrieved it in 2021

  • Brothers retrieved it back-to-back once before in the 80's

  • PODCAST: Stories of retrieving the cross

“Nothing else could replace that experience in my life. I loved it,” said Hunter.

There’s only been one other time that brothers retrieved the cross back-to-back. It was in the 1980s. 

“I still think about it sometimes like, wow, that was a little crazy. It feels like a dream,” said Colten.

Colten, who is now 17, was diving for his first time in 2021 when he retrieved the cross. Hunter, who is now 20, was diving for his third time when he retrieved it on January 6, 2020.

“The fact that we both actually retrieved the cross, it’s unbelievable,” said Hunter.

It’s believed that whoever retrieves the cross will be blessed in the year ahead. 

“I feel that it has brought us all closer together as a family and that in itself is the biggest blessing I could ask for,” said Hunter.

Colten says 2021 was a great year and he feels blessed. 

“It was great when I retrieved the cross and now it’s even better that I get to be with him through his experience of the same process,” said Hunter. 

Colten is a senior at Tarpon Springs High School and Hunter is attending the University of Florida. Both plan to attend this year’s Epiphany celebration.