MEXICO CITY (AP) — People aboard a Mexican pleasure boat rescued a fisherman who had been adrift at sea for a week after his boat was swamped by Tropical Storm Polo.
Crew members of the 42-foot (12.8-meter) sailboat U-Fin videoed the thin, exhausted man as he floated in a giant foam cooler about 6 miles (10 kilometers) off Acapulco on Monday and then brought him aboard.
The U-Fin's captain, Roberto Odis Vazquez, said Wednesday that the rescued man had caught a seagull for food and didn't want to let the carcass go when he was rescued.
"The poor man, he didn't want to let go of that seagull. He wanted to bring it with him to eat," Odis Vazquez said. "It would bring tears to anybody's eyes."
Odis Vazquez said the man told of his fishing boat being swamped in high waves and said he threw out his catch and took refuge in the huge ice chest used to store catches.
Enrique Dominguez, an official at the Acapulco Port Captain's Office, identified the rescued fisherman as Raymundo Rodriguez, 45, who set out from a beach near Acapulco on Sept. 14 along with another man, Mario Morales, 69, on a fishing trip.
Dominguez said the men's open boat got swamped in the rough weather caused by Tropical Storm Polo. He said the port was formally closed because of bad weather when the pair set out.
Rodriguez said Morales had died farther out to sea. Another fishing boat found the two men's swamped boat with Morales' body inside earlier Monday, Dominguez said.
Odis Vazquez said the fisherman appeared to be suffering from hypothermia when he was rescued. Dominguez said the man was taken to a local naval hospital and has recovered enough to receive visits.