Fisherman Survives Two Days At Sea By Hanging Onto Buoy

We all know the holidays can be harder on some people than others. For one Brazilian fisherman, that truth proved acute.

Deivid Soares, 43, had been missing for two days when another fisherman found him clinging to a buoy off the coast just north of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


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He’d been stuck on the scant, lonely fixture since an incident on Christmas.

Soares told the area’s g1 news that he’d been working alone at night on Dec. 25 in the Atlantic Ocean, outside a São João da Barra port. Then, he fell off his boat and couldn’t swim back.

He told the outlet that the ocean current overpowered him. He soon realized that no matter how badly he wanted to get back to his boat, it wasn’t going to happen.

So Soares began instead to cope. He first resolved to stop fighting, and allow the current to take him wherever he was bound. Then he realized that if he stripped off his clothes, he would float easier and weigh less.

Unencumbered, he eventually bobbed down to a group of signal buoys at Porto do Açu — about eight kilometres from where he first fell overboard.

And there he stayed, until his family and friends realized he was missing and initiated a search. Soares’ family alerted everyone from his father to the Brazilian Navy about his disappearance, the local outlet g1 reported. Soon, local fishermen also took up the cause. According to the outlet, fishermen first spotted Soares’ vessel and quickly realized he wasn’t on board.

The mariners eventually hunted him down after long hours perched on the buoy.

Understandably, Soares felt relieved.

“Many times I thought I was going to die of cold until help arrived,” he said.

But instead of subduing the fisherman, the ordeal appeared to galvanize him. Soares reported to work the day after his rescue, and put a positive spin on the experience.

“Certainly I had the second opportunity to face life with different eyes and to be a better man,” he said.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.