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Found: A Castaway on an Uninhabited Australian Island

He was very dehydrated.

The rescue. (Photo: Animal Planet/YouTube)

British angler Jeremy Wade and his Animal Planet crew were searching for a rare fish; instead they found a fisherman who’d been separated from his boat and castaway on an uninhabited island.

The crew was traveling in waters off the northern coast of Australia, looking for a Queensland grouper, when they spotted a cooler on the beach of an island. A moment later, they saw a man, mostly undressed, shouting to them, splashing into the ocean, and asking for water.

He was an experienced fisherman who had become disoriented and been separated from his boat. He had spent about 60 hours stranded on the island in incredible heat, with temperatures topping 100 °F. He was at risk of dying from dehydration; without water or shelter, a person can only survive about three days in such conditions.

The film crew brought the man to their boat, gave him water and dehydration pills, and took him back to a more populated place for medical treatment.

The fisherman’s lesson from his ordeal? He said he would start smoking again: with a lighter, he would have been able to start a fire.

Bonus finds: An Egyptian amulet, a medieval song sheet trapped in a book cover

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.