The 60-year-old-man slept outside for five nights while waiting for help
Timothy Cheramie, of Louisiana, is lucky to be alive, and he has his ingenuity and dogged determination to thank.
Cheramie’s jaw-dropping adventure started when his boat got stranded in waters near the Gulf. The Coast Guard took him home that night and he thought the worst was over. But he says the trouble really began after a friend dropped him off to retrieve the boat the next day, but he couldn’t get it moving.
The 60-year-old man ended up waiting with his boat for three days, with no cell phone, for help that never arrived. He eventually decided that if he was going to survive, he was going to have to save himself.
“I wasn’t giving up, bro, no way. I wanted to because it was cold, man," Cheramie told wvtm13.com.
Cheramie walked to an old camp where he found an aluminum table typically used for processing soft shell crabs. He took that table, tied a tarp to it to use as a sail, and headed across the bay on the makeshift raft.
“If you turn it upside down, it’s got a little bit of flotation, so I jumped in it and I made me a sail. Tied it on a string. I said I’m going to sail across this bay one way or another, because if I don’t, I’m going to die," said Cheramie.
When the water got too rough to continue his trip, he stopped at an island to wait for help again. He got his hopes up when a Coast Guard plane circled above, but no help arrived.
He slept on the island for two days under a tarp, during which time he said three raccoons and two snakes crawled under the tarp with him.
After no help arrived, he set sail on his table again and eventually completed the nearly 12-mile trip to shore.
“You respect life more. Because a little simple journey can turn into your death if you don’t watch what’s happening," said Cheramie.
After arriving on shore, Cheramie walked to a friend’s house, got some water, and called the authorities and his family to notify them of his arrival.
“He’s my hero. He’s my best friend. He’s all I have," said Cheramie's daughter Tiffany.
“I wouldn’t say he would be a superhero, but I can tell you one thing. He’s never been in the Army, he's never been in the Navy, but he’s a soldier," said Cheramie's grandson Dane.
Cheramie said in comparison to other events in his life, the trip wasn't as impressive as others think.
“You don’t know my life, man. My whole life is remarkable," said Cheramie.
Cheramie’s friends and family said he has survived being shot, stabbed, and hit by a car.
Cheramie said he plans to give up shrimping and just enjoy his life.