Man Survives 11 Days at Sea in Floating Freezer: Report

'It was a miracle,' says Brazilian fisherman Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2022 9:40 AM CDT
Man Survives 11 Days at Sea in Floating Freezer: Report
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues reportedly survived 11 days at sea in a floating freezer, without food or water.   (Getty Images/Laszlo Mates)

After his boat sank, a Brazilian fisherman reportedly survived 11 days in the shark-infested Atlantic Ocean by taking refuge inside a floating freezer. Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues departed on what was supposed to be a three-day fishing trip in early August. But off the coast of northern Brazil, his 23-foot-long wooden boat began filling with water and sank, per Insider. One thing that didn't sink, however, was his freezer. "I saw it wasn't sinking. I jumped [inside]," the 44-year-old, who doesn't know how to swim, told Record TV, per CNN. He said sharks at one point surrounded the freezer but eventually swam away. Other times the freezer would begin filling with water, but Rodrigues said he'd scoop it out with his hands.

"I didn't sleep. I saw the dawn, the dusk, asking God to send someone to rescue me," he said, per Insider. "I thought my end was coming." But "I was thinking about my kids, my wife ... all my family. It gave me strength and hope." Just as his hope was fading, he spotted a fishing boat, whose occupants pulled him aboard. He was then off the coast of Suriname. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and sunstroke, and detained by authorities for lacking the proper documentation. He has since returned to Brazil. "I was born again," he told Record TV. "I thought I wouldn't be telling this story, but I'm back here." He added he had no food or water. "The only thing I had was the freezer," he said. "It was a miracle." (Read more survival stories.)

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