Robert Redford has decided the sequel to "All Is Lost" will be called "All Was Won" and based on Ron's story. Seeing Ron won his sailboat in a poker game and he fixed the VHF and now the boat is back in safe harbor, Ron did win.
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Fish and grit helped man survive at sea
A storm set the Molokai resident's boat adrift, and he spent 12 days on the ocean before his rescue
By Rob Shikina
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 11, 2014
Ron Ingraham, 67, was found dehydrated and hungry after going missing on Thanksgiving, when the Coast Guard picked up his mayday call saying his boat was in danger of sinking. A second call more than a week later ultimately resulted in his rescue.
Molokai fisherman Ron Ingraham, who was rescued after 12 days at sea, is getting some needed rest, but could head back out to sea in a few days.
Ingraham's friend Dedric Manaba, who also is a commercial fisherman, said Ingraham expressed interest in going fishing with him in a few days. But this time it would be on Mana*ba's 34-foot fishing boat with powerful motors, compared to Ingraham's 25-foot sailboat, Malia, which has only a small engine.
"That would scar me for life," Manaba said about Ingraham's ordeal at sea. "He's a tough guy. Most guys would have cracked."
Ingraham, 67, and his sailboat, which is also his home, returned to Kaunakakai Harbor at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday with the assistance of the Coast Guard.
He saluted the Navy and the Coast Guard for his rescue, which was prompted by his mayday call after he made makeshift repairs to get a radio working.
"I was trying to maintain a positive attitude and not give up," he told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a telephone interview from Molokai on Wednesday afternoon. "It was difficult. The last three or four days, I thought that was it. I was getting weaker by the day."
He said he ate raw ahi and mahimahi he caught, chewing on the bones and skin and eating an eyeball for hydration.
"The fish saved me," he said.
Ingraham had been missing since Nov. 27, when his first mayday call was picked up by the Coast Guard, prompting a five-day search by the Coast Guard and Navy southwest of Maui. The 12,000-square-mile aerial search ended Dec. 1 without any sign of Ingraham.
On Tuesday morning, the Coast Guard received another mayday call from Ingraham and the nearby guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton rescued Ingraham 64 miles south of Honolulu.
Ingraham, who often fishes off Lanai and sells his fish on the island, said his ordeal began just before dark on Nov. 25 when he rushed to get his boat out of Lanai's Kaumalapau Harbor before severe weather could smash it against the rocks.
Ingraham paddled out on his kayak and cut the mooring ropes in his rush to leave the harbor. He planned to head around the island and seek refuge inside Lanai's Manele Harbor.
"All night long, I fought the current and the weather, and I'm going backwards," he said. "I couldn't make it."
Surrounded by 15-foot seas and life-threatening conditions, Ingraham decided to run with the storm, letting the northeasterly wind take him south of Lanai.
During the storm, a rogue wave hit the side of his boat, throwing him overboard and dipping his mast into water, soaking his radio antenna.
The boat righted itself and Ingraham, who had tied himself to the craft, climbed aboard.
Over two days the winds pushed him hundreds of miles, he estimated, southwest of Hawaii island.
On Nov. 27, Ingraham radioed for help, saying his boat was in danger of sinking, and gave GPS coordinates that indicated he was 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona.
Ingraham said he didn't know anyone heard his call and said the GPS coordinates from his GPS device turned out to be inaccurate.
But the Coast Guard did hear the call and arrived on scene in an hour, battling severe weather that forced an 87-foot Coast Guard cutter to turn around.
After a couple days trying to figure out which way to go, Ingraham headed into the tradewinds, hoping that would take him toward the islands.
"I had to go uphill," he said. "I couldn't sleep. I was just too busy the whole time fighting the elements and trying to go upwind in my sailboat."
It took him nearly two weeks, and two days before his rescue, the winds died, leaving him becalmed.
He couldn't climb his mast to fix the antenna, so he tried to fix his radio.
"I got a piece of coat hanger and copper wire and stuck it right in the unit and put it out the door," he said. "The lady on watch on that destroyer picked up the blip."
He said the rescuers used the blip to triangulate his location.
"Those guys are like real live heroes," he said of his rescuers.
After Ingraham returned, his friend Manaba gave him an emergency beacon called an EPIRB that sends out a constant signal once activated so he would never find himself in a similar situation.
Manaba said he wished Ingraham would have called him because he could have towed him back to shore with his fishing boat.
"He's been blessed," Manaba said.