Man Saved After Days at Sea Clinging to Foam Cooler
Solano Salazar was dehydrated, but otherwise OK
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2014 8:19 AM CST

(Newser) – When a life jacket isn't within reach, just grab a cooler. Fisherman Solano Salazar is alive courtesy of the foam icebox he grabbed onto as his fishing boat capsized off the coast of Colombia on Sunday, the Guardian reports. Salazar and a companion had set out from the Guapi area on Friday, but soon hit bad weather. For two days, Salazar floated in the Pacific Ocean with the cooler until the Colombian Navy, which happened to be running drills some 22 nautical miles off the coast, noticed a dark blob, the BBC reports. On closer inspection, rescuers found Salazar, 47, dehydrated, but otherwise in good health.

A Navy video shows Salazar letting go of his cooler to grab hold of a rescue buoy thrown from a ship. Once he was lifted aboard, rescuers gave him water before taking him to a hospital in Malaga. "He was given first aid," a coast guard captain says. The AP notes Salazar's case isn't unique. A Mexican man was rescued in September after a week at sea on a foam cooler. "I thought I was going to die," says Salazar, adding, "I didn’t think about anything else." His fishing partner has not been found. (At least Salazar didn't have to drink his own urine.)