One boater is lucky to be alive after spending 12 days adrift at sea in a battered sailboat. Ron Ingraham made a distress call on November 27, relaying that his boat was taking on water and he needed a rescue. However, the Coast Guard found nothing, so they called off the search on December 1. To everyone’s surprise, 12 days after his disappearance, Ingraham made a second distress call and the Coast Guard was able to go in for the rescue.
According to Hawaii News Now, Ingraham made his initial distress call on November 27 and then “dropped off the map.” The Coast Guard was forced to call off the rescue mission on December 1 when no sign of Ingraham or his sailboat surfaced. However, on December 9, 12 days after his first distress call was received, the Coast Guard picked up a second message from Ingraham.
“We got a mayday here. Mayday. This is the Malia. Anybody picking this up?”
The mayday call was picked up by the US Coast Guard at 7:55 a.m. on Tuesday morning and a nearby Navy Destroyer, the USS Paul Hamilton, was able to locate Ingraham and bring him to safety. US Coast Guard Lt. Scott Carr praised the Coast Guard command center for picking up the call saying, “Great job by the command center to hear it, you know, recognize it.”
Ingraham has been living on the island of Molokai, according to Reuters. However, AJC reports that Ingraham is actually from Missouri in the mid-United States. Ingraham’s son, Zakary Ingraham, told Hawaii News Now that he received a call from the Coast Guard about the surprising news regarding his father.
“They said, ‘Well, we found your dad. He’s alive and well on his boat.’ For him to be found is awesome. I can’t believe it.”
Zakary also said that he knew his father would be found from the start and asked the Coast Guard not to call off the search on December 1 because he knew didn’t think he was gone.
“When the commanding officer for the Coast Guard told me he was going to call off the search, I said, ‘Man, I don’t think you should call off the search because I don’t think he’s gone.'”
Fortunately for the Ingraham family, it appears that Ron was quite resilient and able to survive in the battered 25-foot sailboat with only minor injury. The Coast Guard says that Ingraham is doing well and suffered only a little dehydration and, of course, hunger and thirst when found.
When Ingraham originally went missing he was 12 miles off the coast of Hawaii. However, when he was found he had drifted 64 miles south of Oahu.
[Image Credit: KHON]