Towards the end of November, fisherman Ron Ingraham, and his sailboat, the Malia, encountered rough waters as he tried to enter Kaumalapau Harbor after sunset. Strong winds took him 200 miles from South Point, and his boat was taking in water after nearly capsizing. Radio comm was knocked out, but he managed to improvise a means to call-in a mayday on the 27th. This was followed by a rather dreadful 12 days of silence on the radio, and the Coast Guard gave up a 4 day search effort, covering a massive 12,000 square miles.
On Tuesday the 9th of December, Ron managed to send another distress call…fortunately for him, the signal was picked up by a nearby US Navy destroyer vessel, the USS Paul Hamilton, leading to his rescue. During the ordeal he ran out of his limited fresh water supply, but he says he survived by catching fish for nourishment and to stave-off dehydration.
In Ron’s words, “I thought I was going to die. I hung in there and it took mental discipline, but these guys are the real heroes and they save people’s lives and I owe it to them all.”
More on his survival account from KITV Hawaii.