In a story almost too surreal to be true, Animal Planet’s River Monsters crew was surveying the water near Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria for plane crash ruins when they came across a fisherman on a deserted island who’d been separated by his boat and was “prepared to die,” the show’s director Stephen Shearman told InsideEdition.com. He’d been stranded for 60 hours in 110-degree heat and “had said his last prayer.
Temperatures approached 40 degrees when the camera crew spotted a stranded, sun-soaked fisherman on an island surrounded by rough waters believed to be the remote Barranyi North Island off the coast of the Northern Territory.
Animal Planet host Jeremy Wade and his crew were searching for a rare fish called the Queensland grouper, for a segment for the documentary series “River Monsters,” when the man emerged from a cave on an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, some 100 kilometres from the nearest town.
Dehydrated and disoriented, he was waving his arms and calling for help.
“He immediately came down to the water, and he’s yelling out, ‘Give me something to drink, give me something to drink,'”
The crew members found the castaway in November, after they took a turn to find calmer water for the shoot, according to Inside Edition.
“We first of all saw a cooler on the rocks and then one of us spotted – so there’s somebody there, there’s somebody there,” Wade said in the segment, adding that the man was “pretty desperate.”
He was identified by the film crew only as Tremine, a hobby fisherman from Borroloola, a tiny town in Australia’s Northern Territory. They estimated he had been alone on the island for about two days.
Tremine, had become separated from his boat two days before when he left the vessel to search for oysters.
Without water and exposed to the elements he quickly succumbed to heat stroke.
“One more day on the beach and he could have died,” Wade said.
“Out here in the Australian high summer stranded without water or shelter your survival is limited to two, maybe three, days.”
Director Stephen Shearman echoed Wade’s sentiments. He told InsideEdition, “He was prepared to die and meet his maker.”
He added, “This guy is super experienced, goes out fishing a lot, he knows the landscape, he knows the dangers, and yet he succumbed to it so quickly. Everything was fine, and within two to three hours, everything wasn’t really fine at all.”
After the crew supplied Tremine with water and medical attention, they brought him back to their lodge for rest, where he made a quick recovery.
After his brush with death Tremine said he’d be a lot more careful when it came to the Australian wild. He also made a holy vow to start smoking again.
“He’s promised God he’s going to start smoking again. If he had a lighter, he’d be able to cook, and he’d have a fire,” Shearman said, laughing.
There’s the indomitable Australian spirit for you.