Alaskan Teen Survives 26-Hours Floating Inside A Fish Crate By Staying Positive And Singing!

By Meera Dolasia on September 13, 2012

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What began as a normal day of fishing for 19-year-old Ryan Harris and 40-year-old Stonie 'Mac' Huffman, ended up as what can only be described an adventure, neither will ever forget and, it's not because of the size of the catch either!

The saga began on the morning of Friday, September 7th, when the two Sitka, Alaska residents took off on their 28-foot aluminum boat in search of Coho Salmon. Two miles into the ocean, just off Cape Edgecombe, their boat began to have some mechanical issues. They managed to fix the problem, but decided to head back to shore anyway.

However, all of a sudden, the water turned choppy and before they could call for help or grab a life jacket, an eight-foot wave slammed hard against their boat and overturned it, tossing both men into the frigid 46°F Alaskan waters. 

Stranded, they began to look around to see what they could grab and saw a couple of the empty fishing crates from the boat, floating around. Ryan managed to climb inside one. Stonie however, was not as lucky and managed to only grab onto the lid. Soon, they both started drifting apart.

While Ryan continued to bob up and down in his makeshift boat, the waves started carrying Stonie away. But as luck would have it, he caught sight of one of the life suits from their vessel floating in the ocean and managed to grab it.

Though putting it on and hanging on to the lid at the same time was no easy task, Stonie managed and then began his long swim back to shore. He ended up on a deserted patch of land about 25 miles northwest of Sitka, where he had to wait until Saturday morning almost 24 hours after the fishing trip began, for rescuers to find him.

Meanwhile, 19-year old Ryan continued to drift around the ocean trying to stay alive and hoping someone would find him. The brave teenager says he stayed positive by repeating to himself over and over again - 'I'm Ryan Hunter Harris and I'm not going to die here' and, by singing fun nursery rhymes like 'Row row row your boat', and Rudolph the red nose reindeer.'

Two hours after his friend was rescued and able to guide the Coast Guard and, a whopping 26 hours after the ordeal began, Ryan was finally found and brought back to shore! What was amazing was that besides a few scratches, the youngster was in perfect health. Will he ever venture out on fishing trip again? Only time will tell!


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  • thediamandhorseSunday, October 19, 2014 at 2:48 pm
    I am soooooo glad that they are okay! I hope that never ever happens to me. I would be freacking out if i were him. Also i felt really bad for that other guy who had to SWIM back to shore in that freezing water!
    • AlaskagirlWednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8:27 am
      • american_c4
        american_c4Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm
        who that's crazy
        • bobomMonday, September 29, 2014 at 9:40 am
          I like trains
          • smartbrain20
            smartbrain20Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:03 am
            a true miracle
            • halpal123
              halpal123Friday, May 30, 2014 at 8:38 am
              • happymeal
                happymealWednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm
                And it was in the Lake Superior
                • happymeal
                  happymealWednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm
                  That happened to me except It wasn't for 26 hours more like 1 hour 30 minutes it was with my cousin on a paddle boat this happened 2 years ago when I was nine years old so I feel happy that he survived
                  • wildchild999
                    wildchild999Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 11:38 am
                    0h my gosh
                    • lee123Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm
                      cool but i a way crepy


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