Harris’ boat tipped over by big waves as he and his friend were fishing
Kenai, AK -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2012 -- A fisherman in Alaska miraculously survived a horrific ordeal. The man was forced to spend the night floating in a 4-by-4 foot plastic fish bin after his boat sank. With little chance of survival, he gave himself pep talks.
A fellow crewmember of the fisherman also shared his story about a similar ordeal. His fellow crewmember had managed to get into a survival suit and wash ashore after facing a similar night floating.
“I gave myself a pep talk,” he said. The angler kept repeating for four hours: “I’m Ryan Hunter Harris and I’m not going to die here.”
Washingtonpost.com reported that a coast guard helicopter spotted the 19-year-old floating in a fish box on Saturday, one day after his boat sank on Friday. Around two hours earlier, his crewmate was rescued on a beach around 25 miles northwest of Sitka.
Harris said he was extremely happy he and his mate managed to survive after their 28-foot long aluminum boat overturned when hit by gigantic waves. His family was also very pleased to see him alive, he further added.
The waves had dumped them into the water, not giving them a chance to send a mayday. The rescue operation started after their friends reported they were missing on Friday.
“It’s truly a miracle they survived,” said Sitka Mountain Rescue Director, Don Kluting, who helped in the search.
“I never thought I was going to die, but I was worried about Mac,” Harris told the newspaper Monday. “I’m glad to be here.”
The two friends were fishing for Coho salmon, two miles off Cape Edgecumbe, when a mechanical problem with their boat occurred. Although they fixed the problem quickly, they decided to go back to the port; however, it was too late for that as they encountered waves that tipped the boat onto its side.
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