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An Amazing tale of survival: Fisherman rescued after 12 days adrift at sea

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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/10/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Search had been called off for 67-year-old Ron Ingraham; son knew he was still alive

The Coast Guard had originally called off the search for missing fisherman Ron Ingraham. Stranded in a 25-foot sailboat, waves had swollen 15 to 20 feet high, and few - except his son, feared the worst.  His son did. "I don't feel like he's dead," Zakary Ingraham told a Coast Guard official nine days ago, after learning their search was ending. "I don't feel it." The elder Ingraham has now been pulled to safety after 12 days at sea, very much alive.

Ron Ingraham is not your typical 67-year-old. According to his son, the 67-year-old Ron Ingraham told his rescuers, 'We ain't leaving without my boat.'

Ron Ingraham is not your typical 67-year-old. According to his son, the 67-year-old Ron Ingraham told his rescuers, "We ain't leaving without my boat."

Highlights

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/10/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Ron Ingraham, adrift, fisherman, Hawaii


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Discovered 64 miles south of Honolulu on Tuesday, "weak, hungry and dehydrated" Ingraham was nonetheless alive.

Ingraham is not your typical 67-year-old. According to his son, the 67-year-old Ron Ingraham told his rescuers, "We ain't leaving without my boat."

St. Andrew the Apostle, patron saint of fishermen, is honored in this beautiful badge pin!

The U.S. Coast Guard heard the call and immediately dispatched the closest available boat -- the USS

The U.S. Coast Guard heard the call and immediately dispatched the closest available boat -- the USS Paul Hamilton, a U.S. Navy destroyer, which was about 14 miles away.


A veteran of the seas, "I'm sure he's going to go fishing as soon as he's able," Zakary Ingraham said by phone from Missouri. "Like tomorrow." The elder Ingraham and his boat are expected to be at the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

Ron Ingraham is resourceful, physically strong and tough, according to his son.

"You know who Rambo is?" Zakary Ingraham joked. "Rambo has a picture of my dad on his wall."

A longtime fisherman Ron Ingraham lives on his boat and "that's pretty much all he's got," his son said -- explaining his insistence his battered vessel, which he named Malia, be towed back to shore.

The older Ingraham set off solo around Thanksgiving from Molokai on what should have been a normal trip, like many others he'd made over the years.

He later made distress calls on the holiday, indicating his boat was taking on water. A search covered 12,000 square miles, including an MH-65 helicopter, an HC-130 airplane and the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Kiska.

On December 1, the Coast Guard called off its search.

Zakary Ingraham said he was told that airplanes, but not satellites, picked up his father's emergency beacon -- suggesting it either had a weak battery or his boat was submerged. With rocky seas, the weather wasn't cooperating either.

"'With the conditions the way they are, we couldn't find your dad's boat,'" Zakary Ingraham recalled a Coast Guard official telling him. "We think it's sunk."

Ingraham's boat was still afloat. Ingraham decided to give the distress call one more try.

The U.S. Coast Guard heard the call and immediately dispatched the closest available boat -- the USS Paul Hamilton, a U.S. Navy destroyer, which was about 14 miles away.

"He's alive after 12 days at sea," his son Zakary Ingraham said. "I couldn't be happier."

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