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Lobsterman Saved by His Boots

No doubt John Aldridge’s family had just about given up hope that the Long Island lobsterman’s body would be found after he fell overboard 12 hours earlier, so when word that a Coast Guard helo crew had not only found Aldridge but that he was very much alive, they were ecstatic. 

Aldridge’s family celebrated when they heard the news of his rescue.

© PO2 Erik Swanson / USCG

Aldridge, 45, fell overboard while the rest of the boat’s crew was asleep. It’s unclear how long he was in the water before his crewmates sounded the alarm, it took an eight-hour search by East Coast assets over 660 square miles to find the man. When a CG rescue swimmer plucked him from the waters 43 miles south of Montauk, New York, he was clad only in a T-shirt and shorts. 

John Aldridge suffered from hypothermia after being in the water for 12 hours, but was otherwise unharmed during his ordeal.


The fact that Aldridge was able to avoid hypothermia, drowning and circling sharks is a miracle, but add to that the fact that he wasn’t wearing a PFD and prepare to have your mind blown. It turns out Aldridge tucked his rubber boots under his arms to keep himself afloat!

"Unfortunately many of these cases don’t end with a happy ending," noted PO Erik Swanson. "With that many hours passed, it’s hard to say with the currents and the temperature of the water. Luckily everything came together for us." Aldridge was treated for dehydration, exposure and hypothermia, then released. 

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