Back from the dead - Soundings Online

Back from the dead

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AUG. 14 A Vietnamese fisherman who says he survived floating in the ocean for nearly two weeks after a typhoon recently shocked his family by returning home more than two months after they held his funeral.

“We were all so happy we couldn’t say anything; just hugged and cried,” the fisherman’s wife says in a news report. “His return is the luckiest thing in life.”

The fisherman, who is 34, lashed himself to a half-full plastic water canister before his boat sank in May during Typhoon Chanchu, the report says. The fresh water helped keep him hydrated but he had no food and suffered sunburn. More than 260 Vietnamese fishermen were lost during that typhoon, according to the report.

The crew of another fishing boat plucked the fisherman from the water 13 days later, the report says. The man had blisters from the sun and was apparently unable to lift his arms. The crew kept the man alive by feeding him sugar water. The boat did not have a VHF or satellite phone to contact authorities.

The fisherman was transported in August to Danang, Vietnam, after more than two months at sea, the report says. Neither the fishermen nor the crew contacted authorities. Instead, the fisherman hitched a ride to a village where his relatives live. News of his arrival was sent to his immediate family in another village.

The fisherman apparently is looking for a new job that does not involve being on the water, the news report says.

— Jason Fell