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Fisherman is rescued after 11 DAYS adrift in a FREEZER: Brazilian survives by jumping into his fridge when boat started sinking in Atlantic Ocean
- Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, left Oiapoque to go fishing at the end of July
- His boat started to sink during his journey and he stayed alive by climbing into the freezer
- He was rescued by a Surinamese fishing boat after an 11-day ordeal
- The 44-year-old was 280 miles from where the boat sank when he was found
A fisherman had a miraculous rescue after surviving 11 days adrift in a freezer he clambered into when his boat began sinking in the Atlantic Ocean.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, left Oiapoque, in the state of Amapa, in northern Brazil, at the end of July in a wooden boat about seven meters long to go to Ilet la Mere.
According to Brazilian media, he planned to fish for a few days, but his boat started to create water during his trip and sank.
In an effort to survive, the 44-year-old climbed into a freezer he had on board. Mr Rodrigues spent his time adrift without food or water and believes he has lost about five pounds in the 11 days.
He said, “What troubled me most was thirst. This refrigerator was God to me. A miracle.’
On August 11, he can be seen being rescued, exhausted and tumbling to the floor of a Surinamese fishing vessel, 450 kilometers (280 miles) from where his boat sank.
Dehydrated, disoriented and sporting ripped clothes, the man also had sunstroke and begged his rescuers for a drink – they gave him water and porridge.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, left Oiapoque, in the state of Amapa, in northern Brazil, at the end of July in a wooden boat about seven meters long to go to Ilet la Mere. He planned to go fishing, but during his journey the boat sank and to survive he climbed into a refrigerator. He was rescued after 11 days adrift by a Surinamese fishing boat. Pictured: (left) pulled on the boat disoriented, (right) climbing out of the fridge
Dehydrated, disoriented and sporting ripped clothes, the man also had sunstroke and begged his rescuers for a drink on the boat – they gave him water and porridge. Pictured: Romualdo
Romualdo was afraid of being attacked by sharks during his terrifying experience on the open water. In the photo: the refrigerator floats in the water
He told his local media about the terrifying experience, “I thought I was going to be attacked by sharks because there are a lot of curious fish on the high seas.”
Describing his rescue, he said: ‘I heard a noise and there was a boat above the freezer.
“Except they thought no one was there. Then they slowly came closer, my vision blurred and then I said, ‘My God, the boat’. I raised my arms and asked for help.’
Police officer Luis Carlos Porto said: ‘He was very thin, weak, but in a very good mood. The wounds he had on his body, which were related to the sun, were already much better.
“He says the extreme heat, the salt and the light made him have vision problems, but he was very calm and in good health.”
Despite the rescue, a police officer said Romualdo was very calm and in good health. Pictured: The fridge that saved his life
But Romualdo’s ordeal was not over. After the boat returned to the coast, he received first aid and was subsequently arrested in Suriname for being undocumented.
He is said to have spent 16 days in a prison in Paramaribo.
His nightmare finally ended when he was returned to his homeland on a flight that landed in Belem, Para state, also in northern Brazil.
Overjoyed, Romualdo described it as “the most important day” of his life and said, “I was born again.”
But Romualdo’s ordeal was not over. After the boat returned to the coast, he received first aid and was subsequently arrested in Suriname for being undocumented. He reportedly spent 16 days in jail before finally being allowed to go to Belem. Pictured left: sitting on the boat after his rescue and right: the fridge adrift in the Atlantic Ocean