A FISHERMAN was lost at sea for 11 days without food or water – but managed to survive floating in a FREEZER.
Incredible footage shows the miraculous moment Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues was pulled out of the Atlantic after swimming 280 MILES on the water in a kitchen utensil he himself dubbed ‘god’.
According to Brazilian media, the 44-year-old left Oiapoque in northern Brazil to fish at the end of July – but only returned home four weeks later.
Not only did the fisherman face a grueling 11 days at sea, but he was reportedly jailed for a further 16 days when he reached land.
Now Romualdo has shared his amazing story behind the stunning video, calling it “the most important day” of his life.
“I was born again,” he told local news outlets once safely home.
Romualdo had been sailing a twenty-foot wooden boat to Ilet la Mere, an island off the coast of French Guiana, when it suddenly began to take on water and sink.
He couldn’t swim.
By a stroke of luck, the Brazilian had a freezer on board the boat and made the spontaneous decision to climb inside.
Little did he know that the empty ice box would save his life.
For the next long 11 days, Romualdo was stranded at sea without food or water, growing weaker by the day.
He believes he lost around five kilograms aboard the cooler as he battled extreme thirst from the heat and salt.
The fisherman’s body was battered by the sun and he could barely see his eyes were so damaged from the elements.
For over a week he lived in fear of being eaten by sharks while exotic fish swam around him.
But his life was eventually saved by another ship 280 miles from where his boat sank, Brazilian media reported.
The fishing boat spotted a white box off the coast of Suriname, which borders French Guiana to the west.
As the crew approached the fridge-freezer, they began filming shocking clips of the frail fisherman inside.
After being pulled on board, Romualdo collapsed on the bottom of the fishing vessel in torn clothes, dehydrated and disoriented.
That fridge was god to me. A wonder.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues
He desperately asked for something to drink and his rescuers reportedly rushed over to give him water and porridge.
Weeks later, Romualdo told local media: “I heard a noise and there was a boat over the freezer. Unless they thought nobody was there.
“Then they slowly came closer, my vision disappeared, and then I said, ‘My God, the boat’. I raised my arms and asked for help.”
He recalled the horrific 11-day ordeal: “I thought I was being attacked by sharks because there are a lot of curious fish out at sea.”
But added: “What worried me the most was the thirst.”
Above all, Romualdo wanted to pay tribute to the freezer that saved his life.
He said: “This fridge was God to me. A wonder.”
Amazingly, however, the fisherman’s fascinating story did not end with his rescue – he was subsequently jailed for 16 days.
When the fishing vessel reached shore, Romualdo was given first aid before the police arrested him.
As he was undocumented in Suriname, he was held in Paramaribo for the additional two weeks.
Police officer Luis Carlos Porto said: “He was very thin, weak, but in a very good mood.
“The wounds he had on his body that were related to the sun were much better.
“He says he had vision problems due to the excessive heat, salt and light, but he was very calm and in good health.”
Romualdo was eventually brought back to his home country on a plane that landed in Belem, in the state of Para, also in northern Brazil.
In a tale similar to Romualdo’s, another man who disappeared at sea claimed that an unusual object saved his life three years ago.
The German tourist claimed a pair of jeans saved him after being stranded for three hours.
Arne Murke managed to turn the jeans into a makeshift life jacket after being thrown into the water off the coast of New Zealand.
Even more amazing, a stranded swimmer from Northern Ireland claimed dolphins kept him alive.
Ruairí McSorley, who went missing at sea last year, has since revealed the moment he thought he was surrounded by sharks – before realizing it was dolphins trying to save him.
The 24-year-old was half an hour from death after getting into trouble while swimming miles off the coast of Tralee Bay, Kerry, Ireland.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6130386/lost-at-sea-11-days-in-freezer/ I was lost in a freezer at sea for 11 days with no food or water for fear of being eaten by sharks after my boat sank