A Brazilian fisherman is thankful to be alive after he was stranded in shark-infested waters for 11 days and relied on a freezer from his boat to stay afloat in late July.
Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues,44, took off on his boat while traveling the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of northern Brazil when the vessel started sinking. During the sinking, Rodrigues climbed into a large freezer and floated in the appliance for 11 days, as the Daily Mail reported. He was later found near the coast of Suriname, and the rescue happened on August 11.
“I thought my end was coming. But thank God, God gave me one more chance. I jumped inside it. It fell to one side and kept normal,” he explained to Record TV. He added that the sharks would circle the freezer but didn’t attack.
Whenever the freezer would fill up with water, he would scoop it out with his hands and pray every day in hopes of seeing his loved ones.
“I didn’t sleep. I saw the dawn, the dusk, asking God to send someone to rescue me. I was thinking about my kids, my wife. Every day I was thinking about my mother, my father, all my family. It gave me hope. I raised my arms and asked for help. That freezer was God in my life. The only thing I had was the freezer. It was a miracle.”
He heard another boat lying in the freezer and spotted the two fishermen who rescued him seconds later. “I heard a noise, and there was a boat on top of the freezer. Only they thought there was no one there. Then they slowly pulled over, my vision was already fading, then I said, ‘My God, the boat.’ I raised my arms and asked for help.,” he exclaimed.
Authorities said Rodrigues appeared frail, but he was in good spirits throughout the rescue. “He says he had vision problems due to the excessive heat, salt, and light, but he was very calm and in good health,” he explained.
Unfortunately, he was arrested in Suriname for being undocumented and spent sixteen days in prison in Paramaribo. After his release, he was sent home to his family in Belem.