Man Falls Asleep on Rubber Ring, Drifts into the Open Sea for 19 Hours

A 58-year-old man can consider himself lucky to be alive after being found by a fishing boat floating on a rainbow-colored swimming ring a few miles from the coast of Taiwan.

On July 7, the Wanli Princess 168, a fishing boat heading toward the port of New Taipei, spotted something strange in the water, a few miles from the shoreline. As the boat approached the strange object, it became apparent that it was a topless man in a colorful swim ring, the kind kids use at the beach. In a clip that has since gone viral online, the crew can be seen throwing the stranded man a life buoy and then pulling him into the boat before taking him back to port and calling emergency services. Although visibly weak and dehydrated, the 58-year-old man appeared in good health, which was a bit surprising considering that he had been drifting in his colorful swim ring for 19 hours before being miraculously spotted by the fishing boat.

Hong Nan told his rescuers that he had found himself in a bizarre predicament after jumping into the waters of New Taipei with a swim ring to cool off after a hot day at work. He had had a few drinks as well, and the sway of the sea allegedly caused him to fall into a deep sleep while relaxing. He recalls going into the water at around 6 or 7 in the evening on July 6, only to wake up hours later in the open sea, far away from shore.

The Taiwanese man claims that he tried shouting for help, but he was too far out into the sea for anyone to hear him, so he just drifted on his swim ring throughout the night and into the next day until he was spotted by the Wanli Princess 168 at around 1:30 pm. He was taken to a Taipei hospital, where doctors conducted some tests and released him shortly after.


“At the scene, the patient had no obvious trauma and his vital signs were stable,” Xu Minglong of the New Taipei Fire Department said. “However, he asked us for water, so we rehydrated him first, and our colleagues also performed life-saving measures on him. The signs were measured again and his vital signs were stable, so we let him leave the emergency room on his own.”

Hong Nan’s story went viral a couple of days ago, with most readers declaring themselves envious of his incredible luck. He could have drifted on the open waters for days without being spotted by anyone, but he only had to spend a night on his colorful swim ring.

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