Kochi: A Keralite captain came to the rescue of an adventurer, who had been drifting in the Pacific Ocean for weeks, by providing him with food and water.
Oil tanker Emerald Spirit's captain Joymon Poulose, a native of Koothattukulam in Kerala, became a saviour for the boatman, Aaron.
Aaron had been rowing through the sea in his boat that did not have an engine. The young adventurer, who was rowing from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, lost control of his boat that strayed off its course due to inclement weather.
Without any sense of direction, Aaron was left drifting in the ocean and he ran out of food and water within days. For two weeks, he survived solely on the rain water that he had collected.
Joymon got a call from the US Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center around 12:30pm on December 29. The captain was informed that a man was in a frail condition in a boat, 160km off the Pacific Coast, and that he had to be rescued. Subsequently, the ship left in the direction of the boat. Aaron was found lying in an extremely weak condition in the boat.
Food, fruits, water and essential medicines; in seven packets; were lowered on to the boat from the 15m-high deck of the ship.
Holding the first packets close to himself, Aaron bent down for a while and his eyes were filled with tears, Joymon said. After he had the food and water, Aaron regained his health and waved his arms at the crew of the ship in gratitude and resumed his journey.
Joymon received an email from the US Coastguard Search and Rescue specialist Douglas W Samp, congratulating him on the rescue mission, the very next day.
Joymon is the lone Keralite on board the ship, while there are six people from other states. Joymon, who began his career as a marine nautical officer in 1987, has been the captain of the Singapore company's ship for 15 years.