Old Man And The Sea

by | Apr 8, 2006

A 73-year old Savannah man survived nine days on an uninhabited coastal island, after his 16-foot jon boat was blown out of his reach by a strong wind while he was collecting oysters.

George Hamilton, who was born on Hilton Head Island, ate oysters, mushrooms and cactus to stay alive during the ordeal. He used Marsh grass to construct a makeshift shelter, keeping him warm at night and shaded from the sun during the day. To stay hydrated, Hamilton gathered moisture from the Marsh grasses. He also found a bottle of gin and drank all of it.

After a boater spotted him and he was rescued, Hamilton told the Savannah Morning News his faith and a lifetime of fishing the coastal waterways helped him survive. “A man can survive if you do it right,” he said.

“There’s one thing about going fishing: You don’t get nothing for free. You pay for everything you take out of the sea. And if you don’t, one of these days the sea is going to take something from you.”