After five weeks adrift at sea, Cayman Islands boater Edward Hendricks Hyde has been found alive off the coast of Mexico.
There was no official confirmation of the status of his fellow boater Chadwick Bodden, who was with him when they left Cayman on a 30-foot canoe-style boat on June 23.
According to news reports in Mexico, Mr. Hendricks Hyde was found alone, adrift on his boat, by local fishermen on July 30. The boat had had engine failure.
“I give thanks to all the people from the city. I’m grateful for all of the Mexicans who saved my life. When I needed it the most, they were there for me. I thank God for them and everything,” he told a reporter from La Pancarta de Quintana Roo newspaper in a brief video interview posted on its Facebook page.
It is understood that family members of Mr. Hendricks Hyde, who is of Honduran descent but grew up in West Bay and went to John Gray High School, have flown to Mexico.
Dwene Ebanks, a friend of both boaters, confirmed that it was Mr. Hendricks Hyde speaking in the Facebook video. He said he was overjoyed to see him alive.
“I am very happy to see that Edward has survived this traumatic ordeal and I am thankful to God that he will have an opportunity to move beyond that and start a new journey.
“With the same breath, I am saddened that Chadwick, from the initial reports, does not appear to have made it with him. No doubt, Edward will be traumatized over the next few days as he processes the entire event and I trust that the whole community is praying for him as he processes this ordeal,” Mr. Ebanks said.
Mr. Hendricks Hyde’s boat was spotted in the water around 7 a.m. on July 30 by fishermen three miles from Cozumel island at a spot known locally as Punta Piedra, journalist Victor Hugo Vargas from La Pancarta de Quintana Roo told the Cayman Compass.
The fishermen found Mr. Hendricks Hyde passed out in the boat, visibly dehydrated, malnourished and badly sunburned.
Private paramedic company Costamed administered first aid to Mr. Hendricks Hyde while waiting on the National Migration Institute for intake. He was later taken to the Cozumel general hospital, where he remained for four days.
Mr. Hendricks Hyde told Mexican media that he survived by eating bits of shark that he captured.
Mr. Bodden and Mr. Hendricks Hyde, also known as Edward Rivers, were reported missing on June 30 after they did not return from a trip to 60 Mile Bank. They had set off on June 23, telling friends and family they would be back by June 28.
Police said Thursday that they were looking into reports from Mexico about the boater found adrift but could not confirm his identity.
“We can confirm that information was received that earlier this week a man was found adrift in a boat in Gulf of Mexico,” police said in a statement. “He is in very poor health and enquiries are continuing with regard to the confirmation of his identity as one of the two missing men.”