Japan tsunami survivor rescued 10 miles out at sea


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

A 60-year-old man has been found on the roof of his floating house nearly 10 miles out at sea, two days after the tsunami that devastated the north-east coast of Japan.

Hiromitsu Shinkawa must have resigned himself to his fate when he was swept away by the retreating tsunami that roared ashore in his home town of Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture…

Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.

Reports said that on being handed a drink aboard the rescue boat, Shinkawa gulped it down and immediately burst into tears. His wife, with whom he had returned home as the tsunami approached, is still missing.

He was quoted as saying: “No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me. I thought that day was going to be the last day of my life.”

Officials said Shinkawa was in good condition after being taken to hospital by helicopter.

“I ran away after I heard a tsunami was coming,” he told Jiji Press. “But I turned back to fetch something from home and was swept away. I was rescued while hanging on to the roof of my house.”

The self-defence forces said the good weather and calm waters had allowed Shinkawa to stay alive during his 48-hour drift.

We’ve had this discussion before. Some days you have good luck. Some days you have bad luck.

The only silliness that gets added on top of that is prattle about some invisible being or spirit guiding your destiny. Poisonally, I would save up to prepare a hell of a thank-you meal for the folks aboard the Choukai who finally spotted me.

2 thoughts on “Japan tsunami survivor rescued 10 miles out at sea

  1. Morey says:

    The only silliness that gets added on top of that is prattle about some invisible being or spirit guiding your destiny.

    It’s a miracle!

    (I’d be wary of an invisible being who put me in that spot to begin with.)

    Some days you have bad luck.

    By comparison, the only bad luck I’ve run into the last several days is failing to find an iPad2 in stock. Kind of puts things in perspective.

    • moss says:

      My wife says the earthquake was caused by deformation of the Earth’s crust caused by the shipping of millions of iPad2’s around the planet.

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