Hardy 69-year-old man survives 22 hours on capsized boat off Japan


TOKYO (Reuters) - A 69-year-old man survived 22 hours lost at sea off southern Japan, sat on the stern of his capsized boat and cloaked in a tarpaulin to protect him from the wind and spray.

A video of his rescue, filmed by the Japan Coast Guard, showed one of his rescuers jump into the choppy, slate grey water and swim towards the boat, as the man sat hunched, virtually motionless, propped up against the rudder.

The man, whom the coast guard said was Japanese, remained almost monosyllabic as his rescuer clambered up alongside him on the upturned hull.

A rope is attached, and a Coast Guard launch reels the upturned boat close enough for its crew to haul the man, and their crew-mate aboard. The water temperature was almost 23 degrees Celsius (73 Fahrenheit), but there was a blustery wind and the sky was filled with heavy rain clouds.

The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, had been working alone on the boat for a port construction project off Yakushima when it capsized on Saturday afternoon.

His co-workers contacted the Coast Guard, and he was found a day later, around 30km (19 miles) off Onoaida Port in Yakushima.

The Coast Guard said he had suffered a minor ankle injury.

(Reporting by Rikako Maruyama and Akiko Okamoto; Editing by Karishma Singh and Simon Cameron-Moore)

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