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29th Dec 2022

Man survived for two days at sea by clinging onto a buoy

Charlie Herbert

Fisherman clings to buoy

An incredible tale of survival

A man was left stranded at sea clinging to a buoy after falling off his boat on Christmas Day.

Brazilian fisherman David Soares managed to survive for a whole two days at sea by hanging onto the buoy.

The 43-year-old was ruled as missing after his boat was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil.

Eventually he was tracked down by a fellow fisherman where he was found on top of a signal buoy, having been stranded alone for all that time.

Speaking to Brazilian news site G1, Soares opened up about the harrowing experience.

On Christmas Day, he decided to do a spot of work alone at Atafona beach, only to fall off his vessel.

“For me, the first 10 minutes were the most difficult because I wanted to get to the vessel at all costs,” he explained.

“But it’s really an enormous weight of water, there was no way to swim against it.”

Once they realised he was missing, his family and friends starting looking for him and called in the Navy to help with the rescue mission.

Eventually his colleagues came across his boat, but their relief soon turned to concern when they discovered it was empty.

Meanwhile, Soares had managed to keep a clear head and stay calm.

He removed his clothes so that they didn’t weigh him down in the water and allowed himself to drift rather than using up energy swimming against the tide.

Hie clear thinking probably saved his life, as he around eight kilometres from where the boat was, he came across a signal buoy.

“There was swell, wind,” he continued.

“I decided to let the waters take me to use less strength and ‘walk’ faster. And it took me about four hours swimming to get to Porto do Acu, on the buoys.”

Soares managed to keep himself going despite the circumstances, waiting in the hope that someone would spot him.

On the second day, his prayers were answered when another fisherman spied him.

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

After being seen to by medical staff for dehydration, Soares has already decided to return to fishing.

But he’s not returning to the seas as the same man, saying that he now “faces life with different eyes and to be a better man.”

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