Floating freezer helps Brazilian man stay afloat in Atlantic Ocean for 11 days

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A fishing trip meant to last for three days turned into a nightmare as well as an experience to recount for a Brazilian man, who despite not knowing how to swim, survived for 11 days in the Atlantic Ocean.

Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues set out in August for a fishing trip but soon found his vessel sinking. However, he did not let that sink his spirit. “I was desperate. I thought my end was coming. But… God gave me one more chance,” Rodrigues told Record TV, a Brazilian broadcaster.

A floating freezer in his boat came to his rescue. Describing the moment where he escaped the sinking boat, Rodrigues said: “I saw [the freezer] wasn’t sinking. I jumped, it fell to one side and kept floating.”

During the 11-day ordeal in the freezer, Rodrigues had no food or water. At one point, water began seeping into the freezer, which he scooped out with his hands. Another time, sharks made rounds around his survival shaft. The thought of his family gave Rodrigues the strength and the hope to fight the situation.

Finally, another boat came near the freezer and the fishermen assumed there was no one inside. But, Rodrigues said, he threw his arms and legs to draw their attention.

Rodrigues was pulled out of water off the coast of Suriname, 280 miles away from where he sank. He lost around 11lbs of weight, his eyes were damaged by the sun and wind and his body was highly dehydrated.

However, after being taken to shore and being given first aid, Suriname police detained him for two weeks because he had no immigration papers to be in the country.

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