In all honesty I’m a bit shit at swimming. I can’t even do front crawl. When you add that to my over egged fear of beasties of the deep, you get a complete watery scaredy cat. So this Alaskan guy, Ryan Hunter Harris (19), is in my humble estimation, a super hero.
Last Friday, Harris and his buddy Stonie Huffman were fishing off the coast of Alaska when they had a tech prob with the boat, they sorted it but decided to head back to port. Then the mighty Poseidon shoved their 28 ft boat on its side and lobbed them in to the freezing bastard cold sea. It happened so fast they couldn’t radio for help. They both climbed on to the upside down boat and Huffman helped Ryan to clamber in to a 4ft x 4ft plastic fish container. Stonie couldn’t manage to get in a crate so he struggled in to a survival suit (that took 2 hours, can you imagine getting dressed while floating in the sea? I can’t) and swam for it, eventually reaching the coast.
To get himself through the 26 hour ordeal, Harris repeated to himself- “I’m Ryan Hunter Harris and I’m not going to die here” and sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – it’s strange where your brain wanders off to when it’s shitting it’s self. Amazingly he survived a night and a day in the little blue box before getting picked up by the search party.
It’s hard to imagine just how uncomfortable it must have been for him, so I put myself in a similar situation to test myself: I got out of the shower, left the window open, didn’t grab a towel, and sat in a cardboard box. I lasted around 35 seconds. I genuinely don’t understand how he made it through the night alive. He was still conscious when he was first found in his new blue home by the rescue boats, and by Monday morning he said he was nearly back to 100%!
BOOM! What a hard ball!