Yesterday the US Coast Guard rescued a 54 year-old man who spent five days stranded on Roe Island, a small patch of dry land in San Francisco Bay, at the mouth of the Sacramento Delta, not far from the mothball fleet at Suisun Bay.
The island is uninhabited, but the lost gentleman was surrounded by a metropolitan area that's home to approximately 7.5 million people.
The Coast Guard says:
The Coast Guard successfully rescued the 54-year-old man after being notified by family members at 9:19 a.m. The family knew he was stranded on an island, but did not know which one.
The man started in his inflatable raft in the Sacramento River and drifted downriver until his raft began to sink.
The Coast Guard used information provided by the family who was in contact with the man to determine where he was located. The man reported through family members that he could see Naval vessels and could hear reveille every morning. Due to the information gathered Sector San Francisco believed the man was stranded on one of the islands north of the Concord Naval Weapons Station.
In this situation the Coast Guard also worked with the cell phone provider to trianglate an area in which to search. The cell phone company provided the Coast Guard with a GPS position and a list of the last phone calls made. The Coast Guard routinely solicits assistance from cell phone company providers who provide useful cell phone location information for missing boaters.
UPDATE: 23 November, 2010, 3:43 pm (Pacific)
The San Francisco Chronicle provides additional detail about the stranded man, which suggests he might be more than just a little bit "off" -- if you know what we mean. Setting sail with a mannequin of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes perfect sense, but packing only two burritos? He must be insane!
Hopper, nicknamed Goat Man for his ability to scale mountainsides, said he started out Wednesday morning on the Sacramento River, where he loaded a $300 inflatable raft with camping supplies, two burritos, a bag of vitamins, a Bible and a mannequin of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"This trip was a campaign," Hopper explained. "I wanted to bring more attention to social diseases."
Hopper hoped to make it to the Golden Gate Bridge but disaster struck when his raft sprang a leak in Suisun Bay, east of the Benicia Bridge. He said he managed to guide the sinking vessel to shore, then figured he'd make camp on the island until he fixed the raft.
IMAGES: US Coast Guard