Montauk Fisherman Found 43 Miles Offshore Using Rubber Boots as Life Vest
by Owen James Burke
Montauk, New York lobsterman John Aldridge was found alive and afloat Wednesday afternoon thanks to his rubber boots, which he turned upside down and placed underneath his arms to forge flotation devices in place of the life jacket he was not wearing.
Mr. Aldridge went overboard around 5 miles south of Montauk Point and, within 12 hours, drifted an approximated 38 miles farther from shore.
Mr. Aldridge had last been seen at 9:00pm Tuesday night, and was reported missing by a fellow crew member of the 44-foot lobster vessel, the Ann Marie, at 6:30am Wednesday. 12 hours later, thanks to an 8-hour, 660-square mile search effort, Aldridge has been taken to Falmouth Hospital in Massachusetts where he is being treated for dehydration, exposure and hypothermia.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Walter, the officer in charge of Station Montauk, said that the search and rescue operation was “exceptional,” reported 27east, a Hampton news source.