Lone boatman in ‘miracle’ rescue after 22 hours of being adrift off Japan coast

Coastguard officials say it is a ‘miracle’ that the 69-year-old made it

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 02 December 2021 06:52
Man rescued after 22 hours adrift off Japan coast.mp4

A 69-year-old man had a “miracle” rescue nearly 22 hours after his boat capsized in stormy weather off the Japanese coast.

The unidentified man was rescued by Japan’s coastguard whose officials said they found him sitting on the engine of his capsized boat, clasping on to the propeller to maintain his balance.

A video released by the coastguard showed the man being pulled to safety off the Kagoshima prefecture in Japan’s Kyushu island.

The video showed members of the coastguard team yelling “We are coming! Just a little bit longer! Hold on tight!” to the man, who was on his way to the Yakushima resort island on Saturday afternoon when the boat capsized.

Once his boat began to sink, he called a colleague on the island but was found only about 22 hours after he had placed the call.

“He was out in the sea alone for 22 hours. I am amazed by his survival skills,” one coastguard official was quoted by AFP as saying.

The Asahi Shimbun newspaper quoted an official as saying that the man had wrapped himself in a plastic sheet to protect him from the storm. “It’s a miracle he survived,” the official added.

In a separate incident in October, two men from the Solomon Islands were rescued after remaining adrift for 29 days after their GPS tracker stopped working. They were rescued almost 400km off the coast of Papua New Guinea, from where they began their journey.

One of the two rescued men had said that even though he was looking forward to going back home, “I guess it was a nice break from everything.”

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