Homeless man survived for three days on dried pasta after his tiny boat was blown out to sea

Homeless man survived for three days on dried pasta after his tiny boat was blown out to sea

09/02/2021

A HOMELESS man who lives on a tiny boat survived for three days on dried pasta after being blown out to sea.

James Cooper, 54, feared he was going to die as his 22ft fibreglass tub floated past a giant wind farm six miles from shore.

Seawater knocked out his mobile and swamped his gas cooker, forcing the ex-British Rail worker to eat dry pasta.

Drifting in the North Sea by the Gunfleet Sands wind farm, he managed to attract help last weekend by waving his yellow paddle above his head.

James had been living on the Shetland sailing boat at the village of Point Clear near Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.

However, he was warned by locals that yobs had been setting fire to driftwood on the beach and it was too dangerous for him to sleep there.

He said: “I decided I would move around the coast to another more secluded beach.

“It was only a short distance. I had done a bit of sailing in the Scouts so had a bit of experience although I wouldn’t say I was an expert or anything. But the wind just dragged me out to sea.

“The seawater made my phone wet so that didn’t work and I couldn’t light my cooker.

“I had bottles of water so I knew I wasn’t going to die of thirst and I started crunching dried pasta.”

After being spotted by the crew of a passing boat James was towed back to shore by the West Mersea lifeboat.

He added: “By the time I saw the other boat, I had pretty much given up. I thought I was going to die.

"It’s a strange experience accepting that you aren’t probably going to be around much longer.

“I was so happy to see them and I’m very thankful to the RNLI for being there for me.

“It was an adventure to remember for all the wrong reasons. I had my grandfather and father’s war medals on board and I think I would have been upset the most at losing those.”

James now plans to swap his £100 boat for a camper van. He said: “I think they sound a little safer.”



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