Hisateru Soejima Swims To Safety Out Of Necessity

Courtesy of Everyone’s News Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan.

It was a situation out of the movies.

But 53-year-old Hisateru Soejima found himself in a real-world life-or-death situation when he fell overboard during a 30-minute ferry ride, but none of the 28 other passengers realized that he was missing.

20 minutes fter Soejima boarded the 8 pm ferry on August 27th headed towards Shikanoshima, he started to take photos of the sunset and fell into the warm bay. Left alone as night fell, he started to swim towards a lighthouse on Hashima.

Swim and swim and swim he did as the ferry landed and no one noticed Soejima was nowhere to be seen. But once Soejima reached shore, he realized that it was an uninhabited island without people, food or water.

With no phone, no Internet, no sustenance, and no people, Soejima had to stay on the island by himself. All day and another long night.

Finally, on the morning of the 29th – a day and a half after he first fell into the sea – his yells and arm waves caught the eye of a passing fishing boat. The boat could not dock on the island so the pilot radioed the Japanese Coast Guard that arrived with a boat that could navigate the shallow waters of Hashima Island.

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Steven Munatones