Japan Coastguard Rescues Man Stranded for 22 Hours on Overturned Boat

rescue man 22 hours at sea on overturned boat
Construction worker clinging to propeller shaft on his overturned boat (Japan Coastguard)

Published Dec 1, 2021 5:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Japan Coastguard rescued a construction worker who was stranded at sea on his overturned boat for 22 hours. They released a video of the rescue operation with swimmers reaching the boat and bringing the man to safety.

The 69-year-old construction worker reported he was alone working on a port construction project near Yakushima in southern Japan when his boat overturned. The man was able to scramble aboard the overturned boat and notify fellow workers who alerted the Coastguard. 

When they located the boat, it was approximately 19 miles offshore near Onoaida Port. The man can be seen atop the overturned boat sitting near the stern. The Coastguard reported that he had wrapped himself in a tarp and was clinging to the propeller shaft.  



It was a cold and windy day with rain squalls, but the water temperature had remained warm. Rescue swimmers entered the water while Coastguardsmen can be heard calling to the man that help was on the way and to hold on for just a little longer.

“It’s a miracle he survived,” a coastguard official told the Asahi Shimbun daily.  “He was out in the sea alone for 22 hours. I am amazed by his survival skills.”

The rescue swimmer was able to secure the overturned boat with a rope and the Coastguard was able to retrieve the small boat and pull the man to safety. Other than being cold and dehydrated, they reported the man had only suffered a minor injury to his ankle.