NY lobsterman rescued after 12 hours in water

Posted: 07/25/13 at 10:20 am EDT

MONTAUK, N.Y. (AP) -- A lobsterman who fell overboard and stayed afloat for 12 hours by using his boots is recuperating at a hospital.

John Aldridge, of Montauk, N.Y., says he went "straight out the back of the boat" around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday while moving a cooler.

The fisherman wasn't wearing a life jacket. He tells Newsday his rubber boots saved his life, because he tucked one under each arm to stay afloat. He was found floating Wednesday about 40 miles from his boat.

Coast Guard crews from five states and commercial fishing crews searched 780 square miles before finding him.

Aldridge was part of a crew on a 44-foot fishing vessel out of Montauk when he fell in the water.

He's being treated for dehydration, exposure and hypothermia at a hospital in Falmouth, Mass.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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