In some ways, Christmas Day was really terrible for Brazilian fisherman David Soares. Then again, he lived to tell the tale and apparently gained a new appreciation for life. Per the BBC, Soares, 43, set off alone on Sunday from Atafona beach, about 200 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The seas were rough, and at some point he fell from his boat and was unable to get back aboard due to the strong current and winds. "For me, the first 10 minutes were the most difficult because I wanted to get to the boat at all costs. But [it was] really an enormous weight of water, I couldn't swim against it," he told G1 Globo. As exhaustion crept in, Soares decided to remove his pants and shirt and "let the waters take me to use less strength."
The stricken fisherman drifted and swam about four hours before he spied a signal buoy off the coast near the Port of Acu, per People. He climbed on and there he waited ... for two days. Luckily, his family missed him and reached out to the fishing community and the navy. "Many times I thought I was going to die of cold until help arrived," Soares later said, per G1 Globo. Help arrived in the form of fellow fishermen, who recorded part of the rescue for Twitter. At first, Soares was laughing and joking, but he told a local reporter that he became emotional when he noticed his rescuers crying with relief at finding him. After being treated for dehydration, Soares got right back to work fishing, though he doesn't take the experience for granted. "I had [a] second opportunity to face life with different eyes and to be a better man," he told G1 Globo. (More lost at sea stories.)