A fisherman who went missing nearly two weeks ago has been found alive on a life raft around 70 miles off the west coast of the United States, the US Coast Guard Pacific Northwest has announced.
Good Samaritans discovered the stranded man on Thursday, after suspending fruitless search efforts the day before.
According to the Canadian rescuers who discovered him, the man kept himself alive by catching and eating salmon from the sea.
The man, who has not yet been named, left Gray Harbor in Washington state on October 12 on Evening, a 43-foot commercial fishing vessel.
A search operation was launched after the man and another sailor failed to return as expected on October 15.
The men who found him weren’t named by officials, but were identified by King-TV in Seattle as Ryan Planes and his uncle John from Sooke, a town on Vancouver island, British Columbia.
Speaking to the network, Ryan said he saw “what looked like a life raft in the distance and ran inside and put the binoculars on him and then he shot off a flare”.
John continued, “We pulled him on board. He gave me a big hug and it was emotional,” John continued, adding that the man said he had been alone on the raft for 13 days and after running out of food was forced to catch salmon.
“We made him breakfast. He drank three bottles of water,” John said. “He was pretty hungry, poor guy.”
Officials say the man looks to be in stable condition, and was returned to shore by the Canadian Coast Guard and another Canadian rescue agency.
He received further treatment at a hospital in Tofino, British Columbia, King-TV reports.
It comes after the Coast Guard announced on Wednesday that it was suspending their search pending the development of new information.
The move came after crews search and rescue teams scoured for eight hours over 14,000 sq mile area.
The other sailor has not yet been found, though the Coast Guard says the incident is still under investigation.
It’s not clear whether there are plans to resume the search operation.
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