- (Photo: ABC News Screen Shot)
A lobsterman has been rescued 43 miles off the coast of Long Island on Thursday after being lost at sea for more than 11 hours.
The lobsterman, John Aldridge, reportedly fell overboard into the sea on Wednesday night as he moved a cooler at the rear of the 44 foot Anna Mary boat. The rest of the crew were oblivious to Aldridge falling over, and it wasn't until early the next morning that they realized he was missing and sounded the alarm.
The crewmen reported Aldridge's disappearance to the Coast Guard, and rescue crews from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts joined a massive search for the missing lobsterman.
The extensive search and rescue mission was conducted over a 770 square mile area, and it was hours before the man was found. Aldridge was eventually found drifting in the Atlantic Ocean, and was air lifted to Cape Cod where he was found to be suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.
Aldridge has since described the moment he went overboard: "I went to move a cooler and the handle broke off and I fell off the back of the boat, just like that."
The lobsterman explained that he wasn't wearing a life jacket when he fell over, but used his rubber boots to keep himself afloat for the extensive period. The 43 year old man explained that he took off his boots and turned them upside down to create air pockets in them. He then stuffed them under his arms to help him float as he hoped for rescue.
Coast Guard Lt. Joe Klinker said: "This ending had a lot of people shaking hands and smiling. Reports of persons in the water often mean a difficult search is ahead. To hear the call that he was found and rescued makes it a proud day for those Coast Guard crews."
Here is a video news report of the lobsterman's rescue: