It was supposed to be a fun fishing trip off the coast of Sitka, Alaska. However, when you fish in waters that cold and rough, there’s always a risk. Ryan Harris, 19, and his friend Stonie “Mac” Huffman were on board the 28-foot ship Kaitlin Rai when a wave struck the ship. The boat capsized, and Harris and Huffman were swept overboard. Mac Huffman is the lucky one; he was able to struggle into his survival suit and eventually floating to shore. His friend wasn’t quite as lucky. Ryan Harris spent 26 hours floating in a 4×4 plastic tub before the Coast Guard came to his rescue.
“I never thought I was going to die, but I was worried about Mac,” Harris told the Daily Sitka Sentinel. He chanted the mantra, “I’m Ryan Hunter Harris and I’m not going to die here”, and sang songs like Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Apparently, all the singing and chanting and not drowning worked to Harris’s advantage, because he spent over a day exposed on open water and somehow lives to tell the tale. I’m sure the altruism didn’t hurt matters, either. Being concerned about others and not dwelling on your own misery is a great way to keep from losing hope. Anything to take your mind off the fact that you’re floating in a fish tub and hoping it doesn’t sink under your own weight.
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