A Brazilian fisherman was pulled from the waters off Suriname after his boat sank and left adrift in a freezer for 11 days.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues, 44, left Oiapoque, Amapa state, northern Brazil, in late July in a wooden boat about 7 meters long.
He was on his way to Ilet la Mere, an island off the coast of French Guiana that borders Amapa to the west, to spend a few days fishing, Brazilian media reported.
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WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Dramatic rescue of fisherman stranded in freezer at sea for 11 days.
But during his voyage his boat began to take on water and sink.
Rodrigues, unable to swim, survived by climbing into a freezer he had on board.
At one point, water started seeping into the freezer, and he says he scooped it out by hand.
Eleven days later, he was spotted and pulled from the sea by the crew of another ship in waters off the coast of Suriname, which borders French Guiana to the west.
The spot where he was rescued is about 450 km from where his boat sank, Brazilian media reported.
Dramatic footage from August 11 shows the moment of his rescue when the fisherman falls exhausted to the bottom of the Surinamese fishing vessel.
He was dehydrated and disoriented, his clothes were torn and he had sunstroke, Brazilian media said.
After asking for a drink, Rodrigues was given water and porridge by his fishermen rescuers.
But his ordeal wasn’t over yet.
When the boat returned to shore, Rodrigues received first aid but was then arrested by Suriname police for having no papers.
He reportedly spent 16 days in detention in a Paramaribo prison.
“He was very thin, weak, but in very good spirits,” said police officer Luis Carlos Porto.
“The wounds he had on his body that were related to the sun were 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.”
Rodrigues was eventually returned to his home country on a plane that landed in Belem, in the state of Para, also in northern Brazil.
Describing it as “the most important day” of his life, he added, “I was born again.”
At home, he told local media about his horrific ordeal, saying: “I thought I was being attacked by sharks because there are a lot of curious fish out at sea.”
Rodrigues said he was grateful to the fishermen who saved him.
“I heard a noise and there was a boat over the freezer but they thought there was nobody there,” Rodrigues said of the moment of his rescue.
“Then they slowly came closer, my vision disappeared, and then I said, ‘My God, the boat.’
“I raised my arms and asked for help.”
Rodrigues spent his time adrift without food or water and believes he lost around 5kg during that time.
“What worried me the most was the thirst,” he revealed.
Referring to the device that saved his life, Rodrigues said: “That fridge was god to me.
https://7news.com.au/news/world/dramatic-rescue-after-fisherman-survives-11-days-at-sea-floating-in-a-freezer-c-8122266 Brazilian Fisherman Rescue: Dramatic rescue after a fisherman survived 11 days at sea floating in a freezer