Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, had the freezer as his only chance of survival when his boat started to sink (Picture: CEN)
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, a 44-year-old fisherman has miraculously survived after a horrific and deadly experince at sea.
He survived by floating in a freezer in the ocean for 11 days without food and water.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, was travelling in a 23ft-long wooden boat from Oiapoque, in Amapa state, northern Brazil at the end of July.
He was aiming to get to Ilet la Mere, an island off the coast of French Guiana, to spend a few days fishing.
But disaster struck and his boat began to fill with water and start sinking.
Romualdo does not know how to swim, so panicked and climbed into a freezer he had on board.
Some rescuers eventually spotted him and pulled him to safety (Picture: CEN)
He said he had no food or water and lost more than 10lbs during his ordeal.
Romualdo told local media: ‘What troubled me most was the thirst.
‘I thought I was going to be attacked by sharks because there are lots of curious fish on the high seas.’
He was eventually spotted 11 days later by the crew of another boat, who pulled him from the sea off the coast of Suriname, which borders French Guiana.
Romualdo was dehydrated and disorientated, had sunstroke and his clothes were torn (Picture: CEN)
Romualdo said it was ‘the most important day’ of his life and that he was ‘born again’.
‘I heard a noise and there was a boat above the freezer,’ he added. ‘Except they thought there was no one there.
‘Then they slowly got closer, my vision was fading, and then I said, “My God, the boat.” I raised my arms and asked for help.’
It was thought he was rescued around 280 miles away from where his boat sank.
Video footage recorded on August 11 shows the incredible moment Romualdo was rescued.
He was dehydrated and disorientated, had sunstroke and his clothes were torn.
He called his survival a ‘miracle’ when he spoke to local media back at home (Picture: CEN)
Romualdo was given water and porridge by his rescuers after he hadn’t eaten for days on end.
He told local media: ‘This fridge, for me, was God. A miracle.’
Police officer Luis Carlos Porto said: ‘He was very thin, debilitated, but in very good spirits.
‘The wounds he had on his body, which were related to the sun, were already 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.’
As soon as he returned to shore Romualdo was given first aid – but was then arrested by police in Suriname for not having the right documents.
He was reported to have spent 16 days in custody before finally flying home to Belem in Para state, Brazil.
O pescador Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues ficou 11 dias à deriva em um freezer no meio do Atlântico após o barco dele naufragar. O resgate ocorreu por navegantes que encontraram o eletrodoméstico boiando no mar, já no Suriname.#UOL
— UOL (@UOL) September 1, 2022
Source: Metro UK