A Long Island lobsterman was rescued by a team of Coast Guardsmen on Wednesday after falling out of his boat and spending 12 hours stranded in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to ABC New York, John Aldridge Jr. was lobster fishing of the coast of Montauk on the 44-foot Anna Mary early Wednesday morning when he fell out of the boat and into the Atlantic. All told, Aldridge floated in the Atlantic for 12 hours and traveled 40 miles away from his original position.
"I went to move a cooler and the handle broke off and I fell off the back of the boat, just like that," Aldridge told NBC.
Without a life jacket, Aldridge had to fashion a makeshift floatation device in order to survive. A 19 year veteran of the Montauk lobster industry, Aldridge had read up on surviving in the open ocean and knew exactly what to do.
"I just grabbed my boots and filled them with air and put them under my arms and once I did that I realized I was good to go," Aldridge said. "The water was warm, my head was above water, so I was floating and I knew I had to conserve energy and that was it, I floated for hours."
Luckily, he managed to make his way to a nearby buoy, where he waited for the Coast Guard to arrive. After a dramatic helicopter rescue by members of the Coast Guard, Aldridge is now safely at home.
"This ending had a lot of people shaking hands and smiling," Lt. Joe Klinker, First Coast Guard District public affairs officer, said in a press release. "Reports of persons in the water often mean a difficult search is ahead. To hear the call that he was found and rescued makes it a proud day for those Coast Guard crews."
Watch a video of the lobsterman rescue below, featuring footage taken by the Coast Guard.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.