The U.S. Coast Guard recently rescued a man who was adrift at sea for six days. As if out of a Hollywood film, the man was pulled out into the ocean by a strong current, only to land on a deserted island – his future unknown.
Larry Sutterfield, 39, floated on an on an inflatable dinghy for five days and then landed on a small, uninhabited island in the Bahamas before rescue. A Coast Guard patrol spotted Sutterfield on Cay Sal Bank, which is in the western Bahamas between Cuba and Florida, after noticing a fire on the remote island. Sutterfield, who is originally from Illinois, had been on Cay Sal Bank for about a day when he was found by chance.
“He had a little bit of food and water that he was able to sustain himself on, thank goodness,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmd. Gregory Higgins told Local 10 News.
A video shot by the Coast Guard showed Sutterfield emerging from a tiny tent and waving desperately to attract the crew’s attention. Soon after, the rescue team dropped him a radio, food, and water until Higgins and other Coast Guard members could retrieve him.
Petty Officer John-Paul Rios, a Coast Guard spokesman, reported Sutterfield had set out from Marathon in the Florida Keys on a camping trip when he was hauled out to sea. Little else is known about the man, since he had not been reported missing by anyone in the near-week he had been gone.
After his rescue, the Coast Guard took Sutterfield back to the Florida Keys for medical treatment but “no major medical concerns were reported,” according to a press release, though he was sunburned.
“He is in fair condition,” said hospital spokesman Randy Detrick.
Higgins added, “The amount of luck that he certainly had that he landed on (the island) is tremendous.”
Safe to say, the Coast Guard has had a fairly busy fall season this year. In October, they rescued Reza Baluchi, a long-distance runner and peace activist, during his sea journey in a homemade floating “Hydro Pod” that was aimed to take on the 1,033-mile trip from Florida to Bermuda.