Search suspended for man who survived previous ordeal at sea

AP News
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Posted: Apr 28, 2015 11:01 PM
Search suspended for man who survived previous ordeal at sea

HONOLULU (AP) — For the second time in five months, the Coast Guard has suspended a search for Hawaii fisherman Ron Ingraham.

The first time came in December, but Ingraham turned up more than a week later — alive and uninjured, living to tell a tale of eating raw fish to stay alive on a battered boat for 12 days after getting caught in a storm.

There were moments he thought he was going to die, he recalled days after he was rescued by crewmembers aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton.

The Coast Guard staged another search for Ingraham after a boat he was aboard ran aground Friday about a mile west of Lanai.

The agency had to suspend the search on Monday evening after covering more 4,500 square miles from the air and water.

Kenny Corder, a friend who was with Ingraham, was rescued a few hours after the Coast Guard received a mayday call from the vessel dubbed Munchkin.

Corder, who owned the boat, told the Coast Guard the people onboard didn't have lifejackets, and Ingraham was clinging to a life ring when Corder swam back to the boat to retrieve an emergency position indicating radio beacon.

When he got back to the life ring, Ingraham was gone, Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Scott Carr said.

Unlike his previous ordeal, Ingraham is without a boat. He recounted last year how he was able to ride out the storm, even though 20-foot waves knocked out the engine of the boat that also serves as his home.

He insisted on towing it back to Molokai after he was rescued.

The Coast Guard notified Ingraham's son, Zakary Ingraham in Missouri, about the search and subsequent suspension — phone calls he also received last year when his father was lost at sea during a routine fishing voyage from his home island of Molokai to nearby Lanai.

Zakary Ingraham recalled pleading with the Coast Guard last year to extend the search.

"I held on to hope," he said. "I knew my dad was tough. So I didn't feel like he was gone."

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Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/JenHapa .