Dramatic video captured a Brazilian fisherman clinging onto a rocking buoy in the South Atlantic — two days after he fell off his boat on Christmas Day.
David Soares, 43, was rescued by a fellow angler who approached him off the coast on Atafona, about 200 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, on Tuesday, CEN reported.
The drama began two days earlier, when Soares fell off his boat off the coast of Sao Joao da Barra while working alone and couldn’t get back on board.
“The first 10 minutes were the most difficult. I desperately wanted to get back to the vessel, but there was just no way to swim against the current,” said Soares, known locally by his nickname Leandro.
His family and friends sounded the alarm when they realized he was missing. His father, Joao Batista Soares, said he feared the worst.
Rescuers were later shocked to find his boat adrift – with no one aboard.
Leandro drifted for some five miles before he decided to remove his shirt and trousers, which were making it tough for him to swim.
The exhausted man spotted some marker buoys in the distance and began making his way toward them.
It took him four hours to finally reach the one he grabbed onto and climbed up.
“There were several times I thought I was going to die because of the cold before help could arrive,” he said, according to CEN.
The video shot by his rescuer shows Soares laughing and joking, with no visible signs of injury.
He later told local outlet Inter TV RJ that he became very emotional when he saw people crying from relief when they found him.
“Many times I thought I was going to die of cold until help arrived,” he told Brazilian news outlet G1 Globo.
“An experience like that does not leave you the same, you look at life with different eyes and I would say I am now a different and a better man,” Soares said.