Missing boater found alive after 12 days at sea - GrindTV.com
Missing boater found alive after 12 days at sea
Search for sailboat suspended five days after initial mayday call from Ron Ingraham; eight days later, a second distress
call is picked up by Coast Guard
December 10, 2014 by David Strege
News Now – KGMB and KHNL
On Thanksgiving Day, Ron Ingraham sent a mayday saying his sailboat was taking on water
. He gave his GPS
location as approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona. Then all communications
from the missing boater were lost
The Coast Guard immediately began searching for the 25-foot vessel, but after five days of scouring 12,000 square miles of ocean, the Coast Guard suspended the search for the 67-year-old.
Eight days later, the Coast Guard command center picked up a distress
“We got a mayday here. Mayday. This is the Malia. Anybody picking this up?”
It was Ron Ingraham.
Missing boater found alive
The sailboat Malia, owned by the missing boater. Photo
courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard
Remarkably, after a long gap in communications
with the missing boater, the Coast Guard heard the second call Tuesday morning at 7:55 and got fresh coordinates, which were 64 miles south of Honolulu, the Coast Guard reported.
Fortunately, the Navy
Destroyer USS Paul Hamilton was three miles away, located the sailboat and took Ingraham aboard and rendered aid. He was weak, hungry, and dehydrated but otherwise OK, the Coast Guard reported. He was transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter
Rush at 5 p.m. Tuesday until the cutter
Kiska could transport him and his boat back to Hawaii
Ingraham told ABC News that his radio
was destroyed, but he managed to make it work for his last mayday call by rigging
with a coat hanger and some wire. At one point, a rogue waved knocked him into the water
, “but I had a rope
so I towed myself in.”
As for how he survived for 12 days, Ingraham told ABC News, “I’m a fisherman so I caught fish
. It wasn’t as good as a sushi bar, but that’s how I hydrated.”
The Coast Guard has raw video of the rescue
On Tuesday, Zakary, Ingraham’s son, received the good news from the Coast Guard.
“They said, ‘Well, we found your dad. He’s alive and well on his boat,’” Zakary Ingraham of St. Joseph’s, Missouri, told Hawaii News Now. “For him to be found is awesome. I can’t believe it.
Missing boater Ron Ingraham in handout photo
“Twelve days, man. He’s a champ. He’s tough …”
How tough? Zakary told CNN how tough.
“You know who Rambo is? Rambo has a picture of my dad on his wall.”
When the commanding officer for the Coast Guard called Zakary on December 1 to tell him they were calling off the search, he told them they shouldn’t, saying “I don’t feel like he’s dead. I don’t feel it.”
Zakary was proven correct.
Ron Ingraham, an experienced fisherman, was sailing from Molokai (his home) to Lanai when he got into trouble.
A friend of his told Hawaii News Now that both masts were broken and he was sailing on a little auxiliary sail attempting to get back to Hawaii.
“[There’s] a lot of joy around the command center to know that, OK, he’s alive and he’s going to be OK,” Coast Guard Lt. Scott Carr told Hawaii News Now.
The same could be said for Ingraham’s family