‘Drunk’ passenger falls off ferry and spends days on deserted island

A ferry passenger who fell into the sea after having a few drinks and being distracted by his phone has been found alive on a deserted island.

The man swam through cold water to Japan’s Hashima Island, where he spent two days without food or water.

No-one noticed that he had fallen overboard and there was no way to call for help from the island which has an unmanned lighthouse, trees and nothing else.

But the 53-year-old castaway was finally spotted by a passing boat and saved – and he promptly chugged a sports drink that was handed to him when he was rescued.

The businessman, named as Hisateru Soejima, fell off the boat on Monday night as it travelled from Fukuoka Prefecture’s Hakata Wharf to Shikanoshima with 28 passengers on board, Sora News 24 reported.

About 20 minutes into the 30-minute journey, Mr Soejima went onto the deck to snap some night-time pictures, but he accidentally fell overboard.

It is said that he had been drinking alcohol and was focusing too much on his smartphone when he plunged into the water.

In the darkness, Mr Soejima swam to Hashima, or End Island in English, and was possibly guided by the glow of the lighthouse.

When he finally made it to the uninhabited island, he dropped onto the ground from exhaustion and was unable to call out for help, it was reported.

As he dried off, he spent the next day lying down and trying to regain his strength.

Meanwhile, because there were no eyewitnesses when he fell into the sea, no-one was searching the water or checking local islands for the missing man.

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After spending another night outdoors, Mr Soejima spotted a recreational fishing boat passing by on Wednesday at 6.30am and managed to wave down its crew.

They couldn’t land the boat on the island because the water was too shallow for it, so one of the men onboard jumped in and swam to the stranded man.

The fisherman handed him a sports drink, which he immediately downed, Sora News 24 reported.

A short time later, the Coast Guard arrived with a boat that was small enough to reach Mr Soejima.

He was taken back to the mainland, where medics checked him over and found that he was in good health.

He went home that morning.

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