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Fisherman rescued after three-day ocean ordeal

Date Posted: 2005-05-16

An elderly fisherman whose vessel drifted in waters off Miyako Island for three days has been rescued by the Japan Coast Guard.

Yuzo Shimoji was found aboard his boat, the Yuko Maru, at 3:35am Sunday. Coast Guard officials say he was somewhat dehydrated, but otherwise in good condition. The Coast Guard says Shimoji left Hirara fishing port on Miyako Island late Wednesday afternoon.

They say he was headed for a fishing ground along nearby Kurima Island. Officials say Shimoji was carrying candy, rice balls and some bananas. Shimoji’s plan was to fish through the night, then return to Miyako on Thursday morning. He became disoriented in haze and lost his way Thursday.

Later, he encountered several fishermen in the Irabu Island area who gave directions back toward Miyako. Coast Guard officials say Shimoji’s boat ran out of fuel before he could get back home.

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