Sixty-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was found floating on the roof of his house ten miles from the coast of Japan, two days after the tsunami hit his town of Minami Soma.
Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.
Reports said that on being handed a drink aboard the rescue boat, Shinkawa gulped it down and immediately burst into tears. His wife, with whom he had returned home as the tsunami approached, is still missing.
He was quoted as saying: "No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me. I thought that day was going to be the last day of my life."
Officials said Shinkawa was in good condition after being taken to hospital by helicopter.
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