A Long Island lobsterman who spent 12 hours floating in the Atlantic Ocean after falling off his boat joked that he might bronze the rubber boots that kept him afloat.
John Aldridge, 45, was rescued a day earlier when the Coast Guard found him floating in the ocean off of Montauk Point, about 40 miles from where he tumbled off the 44-foot lobster boat Anna Mary at about 3 a.m.
Aldridge was preparing for a day of fishing when he attempted to move a beverage cooler.
“The handle broke off and I fell off the back of the boat. Just like that,” he told reporters. “I just watched the boat float away.”
Aldridge noticed his calf-length rubber boots were allowing his feet to float higher in the water than his head, so he took off the boots, turned them upside down, and filled them with air. He placed one under each arm and used them as flotation devices.
“Once I did that, I was good to go,” he said. “The water was warm, my head was above water, so I was floating and I knew I had to conserve energy and that was it, I floated for hours.”