VIDEO: ‘I'm not going to die’
Posted on 13 September 2012
A 19-year-old fisherman from Alaska has a heck of a survival story to tell.
When the 28-foot aluminum boat Ryan Harris and a crewmate were fishing from was swamped by a wave and capsized last Friday off Sitka, both wound up in the icy water miles offshore.
There were two survival suits on board, but neither man was wearing one. After the capsize, they climbed onto the overturned hull.
"We had no radio, no cell phones," Harris told the Daily Sitka Sentinel.
Then the boat sank.
Crewmate Stonie "Mac" Huffman, an experienced fisherman in his 40s, managed to stay afloat on the lid of a plastic fish tote that was on the boat and eventually donned one of the survival suits. He washed ashore — hypothermic but alive — about 24 hours later.
Click play for a report on how the two survived.
Harris opted for a different mode of survival: He spent 26 hours inside a 4-by-4-foot plastic fish tote before being hoisted aboard a Coast Guard rescue helicopter.
Click play to watch the Coast Guard hoist.
"I never thought I was going to die, but I was worried about Mac," Harris told the newspaper Monday.
Harris says he gave himself a “pep talk,” repeating for hours, "I'm Ryan Hunter Harris, and I'm not going to die here."
He says he kept his spirits up by singing "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
Click here for the full report.