• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Fisherman survives 24-hour ordeal in ocean water


Fisherman’s ordeal began on Tuesday when he fell into water, leading to exhausting day-long battle against elements for 24 hours

Representational image from iStock.
Representational image from iStock. 

A New Zealand fisherman’s solo trip turned into a harrowing 24-hour struggle for survival after he fell overboard while attempting to reel in a marlin off the Coromandel Peninsula. 

The man’s ordeal began on Tuesday when he lost his footing, leading to an exhausting day-long battle against the elements.

Setting off from Whangamatā aboard his 40-foot boat on January 2, the fisherman found himself overboard approximately 55 kilometers off the North Island near the Alderman Islands. Despite his efforts, the boat drifted out of his reach as he struggled to stay afloat.

As night fell, the situation turned dire. The fisherman attempted to swim towards the Alderman Islands but was thwarted by strong currents. In the chilling darkness of the ocean, he faced not only exhaustion but also an unsettling encounter with a curious shark.

However, fortune smiled upon him when, on Wednesday afternoon, three observant fishermen near Mayor Island noticed an unusual glint on the water’s surface. Investigating further, they discovered the stranded fisherman, ingeniously using the reflection of sunlight off his watch to attract attention.

The trio swiftly rescued him from the water and alerted the authorities, ensuring his safe return to Whangamatā Marina. The local Police Sergeant, Will Hamilton, hailed the rescue as nothing short of miraculous, acknowledging the swift actions of the trio as instrumental in saving the fisherman from what could have been a tragic outcome.

Hypothermic and utterly drained, the rescued man received immediate medical attention from a waiting St John ambulance crew. Expressing gratitude, he specifically thanked his rescuers and emergency services for their swift response.

Despite the fisherman’s safe retrieval, uncertainty looms over the fate of his boat, as its whereabouts remain unknown. The Rescue Coordination Centre has been notified, urging boaties to report any sightings of unmanned vessels to avert potential hazards.

Hamilton commended the vigilance of the rescuers, highlighting that few stories culminate as positively as this one did. 


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