Rescued Fisherman Released from Hospital - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/12/06

Rescued Fisherman Released from Hospital

George Hamilton George Hamilton
Someone kicked in Hamilton's back door. Someone kicked in Hamilton's back door.

A man who's been away from his family for more than two weeks because he was lost at sea is finally home. George Hamilton's boat capsized near Daufuski Island. No one could find him for over a week. It turns out he was stranded on Turtle Island, with no food, no water, and no shelter. Amazingly, the elderly man survived.

He's doing very well now, and out of the hospital. But Hamilton says his rescue wasn't the only close call the family went through. While he was stranded on Turtle Island, someone broke into his home. But in true survivor spirit, he is taking every day as a blessing.

"My face got cut up by oyster bed, but that did not stop me from doing what I had to do to make myself survive," he told us.

Surviving on only oysters and water from plants, Hamilton lived to tell his story about being stranded on the uninhibited island for nine days and eight nights.

"The strongest of the mind is what did it," he said. "The strongest of the mind. You have to know what to do at the present time."

Looking back on the day that Capt. Jack McGowen of Miss Judy's Charters first spotted him on the island still gives him chills. "It was a sign of relief. I was going home and I was tired, weak and I think I drank about three bottles of water."

Dehydrated and weak, Hamilton was taken to the hospital for treatment.

While Hamilton was on Turtle Island doing what he could to survive, someone broke into his home, kicking in his back door and stealing some food and change.

Hamilton says that nothing valuable was stolen, and says he is thankful for that. "You know how people are," he said. "I can't do anything to nobody and only leave it in the hands of God."

And Hamilton says it was the hands of God which pointed the captain's fishing boat toward Turtle Island, saving him that day.

Hamilton says he will be taking the next couple of months off, but says he plans to go back out on the water once he has his strength back.

He says fishing is his passion and loves being out on the water.

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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