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Man Falls Overboard While Fighting a Marlin, Treads Water for 6 Hours Until Rescue

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Image via Ross Chapman / Facebook 

If you go fishing by yourself out in the middle of the ocean, you’d better be able to tread water. 

Ross Chapman may not be your typical fisherman. He just might take things a little too far. Fishing alone about 55 nautical miles from the Western Australian shore without a life jacket is a perfect example.

While fighting a marlin alone, and trying to capture it on camera, things took a turn for a worse. Chapman dropped his GoPro and tried to recover it. It was then he fell overboard with his fish, and his boat kept on motoring away.

Incredibly, Chapman was then forced to tread water for six hours until another fishing boat discovered the empty vessel and called the authorities. Multiple boats joined in on the search for the missing fisherman and found him a short time later.

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Ross Chapman

“The boating community that was out there did a very good job at rallying around and getting a search under way as fast as possible,” said Rusty Ellis, commander of the Exmouth Volunteers Marine Rescue Group, in an interview. “I think everybody is extremely relieved that he was found at all. It could have quite easily been a disastrous situation.” 

After being rescued, Chapman was treated for hypothermia and shock and was later released.

It was then, Chapman published the following message on his Facebook page.

To all my friends and family thank you so much for all the support, messages and calls it really means a lot I’m so grateful, my emotions are all over the shop at the moment but I am so so thankful to be alive and all the boats out fishing yesterday that dropped everything including fish to come and search for me you are my hero’s. Also Jake Boyd and Poppa George for being my guardian angels above and keeping those big tiger sharks away from me I can’t thank yous enough. I will write a big story to share my story with you all but not right now. Thanks again xo

Here’s to the sharks just not being very hungry that day. This guy is lucky to be alive.

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Man Falls Overboard While Fighting a Marlin, Treads Water for 6 Hours Until Rescue