Danger lurks within each moment of our lives. Coupled with a lack of awareness and a stroke of bad luck, simple recreational activities could easily spiral down into a monumental disaster. Take a one-man fishing trip, for example.
67-year-old fisherman Ron Ingraham spent twelve days out in the rocky seas, exposed to the elements and harsh weather, with at least a couple hundred miles between the boater and his home in Hawaii, before the Coast Guard found him on Dec. 9 after he had made a last resort distress call from his makeshift radio.
Ingraham was found atop Malia, his 25-foot sailboat. He was described as weak, dehydrated and hungry, with almost no food and water supplies left, his boat with a broken mast but, much to everyone’s relief, he is alive and uninjured.
Recounting Ingraham’s tale, he set off alone on Nov. 27 from Molokai going to Lanai, a trip that he is more than capable to be doing. Unfortunately, weather conditions did not cooperate with him, forcing his ship to be taken by the water and him to make his first distress signal.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they had responded to his initial mayday call and launched a search effort, spanning an area of over 12,000 square miles and 59 flights with the Navy. However, with no results being produced, the search had to be called off at the time, only to be picked back up again when Ingraham’s second distress signal came twelve days later, designating his location to be around 64 miles south from Honolulu.
The crew of the Hawaii-based destroyer ship, Paul Hamilton, immediately responded to the Coast Guard’s directions to pick him up, as they were 14 miles away from where he was. They arrived half an hour later and gave him shelter until the Coast Guard arrived and took Ingraham–along with his boat in tow–back to land.
When asked how is was that he managed to survive for so long on his own, Ingraham said that he was fighting for his very life, eating the raw fish that he caught.
“I was way out there, and I was out of water, but I hydrated on fish,” Ingraham would say as he explained that he lived off from the moisture that his catches provided.
Currently, Ingraham is taking time off from his life as a fisherman as he plans to reunite with his 43-year-old son, whom he had not conversed with in 15 years.
By Antonio Torrijos