ABC News(HONOLULU) — New video shows the fisherman who was lost at sea for 12 days finally returning to shore.
U.S. Coast Guard officials described Ron Ingraham, 67, as “weak, hungry and dehydrated” when they found him aboard his waterlogged sailboat Tuesday, but he appeared to be in good spirits in the new clip.
“How you gentlemen doing?” Ingraham asked, as seen in the video.
His radio was destroyed and he was knocked into the water after a rogue wave slammed his boat, Ingraham told ABC News Wednesday.
“But I had a rope so I towed myself in,” he said, adding that he survived on fish and tried to rig his radio with a coat hanger and some wire.
“I’m a fisherman so I caught fish; it wasn’t as good as a sushi bar, but that’s how I hydrated,” he said.
A rescue crew transferred him and his 25-foot sailboat, Malia, to safe shores Wednesday in Molokai, Hawaii. Ingraham had been missing since Nov. 27, when he placed two mayday calls, saying his boat was in danger of sinking, officials said.
The Coast Guard was unable to find him and suspended the search Dec. 1.
But on Tuesday, Ingraham, who lives on his boat, placed one final mayday call, and was found aboard his boat 64 miles south of Honolulu.
“I thought I was going to die,” he said. “I hung in there. It took mental discipline. But these guys are real heroes and they save people’s lives. I owe it all to them.”
His rescue might even lead to a reunion with a son he hasn’t seen since the 1990s. Zakary Ingraham, who grew up in Hawaii but now lives in Missouri with his family, told ABC News Wednesday he’s trying to come up with the money to visit his dad.
“I kind of didn’t feel it in my bones that he was gone,” he said.
He first heard that his father was missing when the Coast Guard called him Dec. 1 to tell him they were suspending the search.
“Somehow, he managed to MacGyver a way to make that last call, and it saved his life,” Zakary Ingraham said. “I hear he has reached land and his boat has reached the dock. It’s all good.”
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