A NY auto mechanic survived for nearly 18 hours adrift Lake Huron without a life jacket after his small two-seat Cessna crashed 17 miles from the Michigan shoreline, reports Daily Mail Online.
Michael Trapp, 42 was rescued by boaters who noticed him waving his socks at them.
Trapp was flying from New York to Chippewa Falls, Wis., for a family reunion when a fuel problem caused his engine to sputter and give away. He reported a mayday before losing contact with the Federal Aviation Administration around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
"He ended up stalling the airplane into the lake, with the engine not running. Upon impact, the airplane flipped over," said Huron County Chief Kelly Hanson in a statement according to ABC news reports. "He then escaped the airplane as it sank seconds later."
Trapp had to take off his pants and shoes to stay afloat and had to brave the high waves off Michigan's east Coast. Trap believes he swam 15 miles towards the shore before being rescued by people aboard a boat called Eagle's Nest at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Apart from a chill, Trapp seemed quite fine and was talking when an ambulance took him to a local hospital. He was later transferred to Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw and listed in good condition.
Recounting his harrowing experience, Trapp said that it was the "grace of God" and the thought of all the people who depended on him that gave him the courage to survive reports Daily Mail Online.
'I kept going, kept going. There's a lot of things I want to do yet,' Trapp said.
Trapp's family prayed that he was alive.
'Very tiring, very nerve racking, and I was beside myself.I was mad at him because I told him if he ever went down in his plane I wanted to be with him,' Trapp's wife Kara told WNEM News.
Trapp even tried using his credit card to reflect the sun and get any boaters attention. However six boats passed before he was finally rescued.
Trapp was just about two miles from the shoreline but exhaustion a strong current prevented him from making it to the shore.
"I'm not ready to die yet," he told himself states the San Francisco Chronicle. "I just kept swimming and swimming."