Fisherman survives by clinging to ocean buoy for two days

A missing fisherman who had fallen from his boat off the coast of Brazil was found clinging to a signal buoy.

David Soares, 43, was rescued by a fellow local fisherman two days after his boat had been found adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.

He told local media he had fallen from his fishing vessel and swam for four hours before he came across the buoy, which he managed to scale.

He has been treated for dehydration and has returned to fishing.

Mr Soares had set off on his own from Atafona beach in the north of Rio de Janeiro state on 25 December to fish when he slipped off the boat.

He told Brazil’s G1 news site that “for me the first 10 minutes were the most difficult because I wanted to get back to the boat at all costs” but that the current was too strong and he could not reach it.

Once he realised he would not be able to get back to his boat, he took off his shirt and trousers as they were weighing him down and let himself drift.

“The water was choppy and it was windy… so I decided to let myself be carried along by the current in order to use less energy,” he said.

After four hours, he reached a signal buoy near the port of Açu, which he climbed. “I thought I would die of cold before any help would arrive,” he recalled.

It took two days for him to be spotted by one of his fellow fishermen who had set out to search for him after his family had sounded the alarm.

In a video recorded by his rescuer on the way back, Mr Soares was in good spirits, smiling and joking.

He later told journalist João Villa Real that he got very emotional when he saw the reaction of those who found him: “They were all crying.”

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