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Elderly Japanese man found on roof 10 miles out to sea (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Title changed out of respect for those older than I but not quite elderly, especially those frequent commenters who took offense... I aim to please.

Here's a good news story to cling to coming out of a region inundated with bad:

Tsunami-victim-Hiromitsu.jpgA 60-year-old man has been found on the roof of his floating house nearly 10 miles out at sea, two days after the tsunami that devastated the north-east coast of Japan.

Hiromitsu Shinkawa must have resigned himself to his fate when he was swept away by the retreating tsunami that roared ashore in his home town of Minami Soma in Fukushima prefecture.

As the wave approached, Shinkawa took the fateful decision to return home to collect belongings. Minutes later he was out at sea clinging to a piece of the roof from his own home.

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.

Might we hear more of these kinds of stories in the coming days.


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Comments (19)

"Elderly"? 60?... (Below threshold)

"Elderly"? 60?

Yeah Falze, you and I are g... (Below threshold)

Yeah Falze, you and I are going to have to have a "talk" with Rick.

I see Rick is in trouble he... (Below threshold)

I see Rick is in trouble here. LOL.

Umm... fellers... elderly i... (Below threshold)
Rick Author Profile Page:

Umm... fellers... elderly is defined to be anyone older than me...

Does this help?

Elderly my, err, well I tho... (Below threshold)

Elderly my, err, well I thought I still had one... ... THERE IT IS! yeah my uh, what was I talking about?

I can't even see 60 over th... (Below threshold)

I can't even see 60 over the horizon yet, but 'elderly' and '60' just don't go together anymore ;)

I don't believe in luck, bu... (Below threshold)

I don't believe in luck, but dang! Even I gotta say that's the luckiest guy in the world right now.

Skipper!!... (Below threshold)


RIck, you have my most sinc... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

RIck, you have my most sincere and profound wish that you learn to differentiate between "elderly" and "60 years-old" and that you live to experience that difference.

60 is elderly in Japan beca... (Below threshold)
jim m:

60 is elderly in Japan because if you learned anything from your public school system, the US exterminated all Japanese born before 1945.

Lucky and not terribly brig... (Below threshold)

Lucky and not terribly bright if you ask me.
Possessions can be replaced, his life and wife? Not so much.

Oh, I can see in the not to distant future 60. I forget who said it but getting there is half the battle, the other half is your mind telling your body to do something and body refusing to cooperate. Gotta work on that one...

PS... "Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut"

Rick, we senior citizens ma... (Below threshold)

Rick, we senior citizens may think 80 is elderly but 60? ww

Out of respect... the title... (Below threshold)
Rick Author Profile Page:

Out of respect... the title has been modified...

Now I know that this was a ... (Below threshold)

Now I know that this was a bit of joking about "elderly" but really? Changing the title? If life expectancy in the US for a man is 75ish then this title is fine.

Perhaps elderly is not seen as it should be, but as something negative in society, but that does not change the word and who fits as elderly. This man is not middle aged, not young, not a baby, nor a teen, so elderly fits.

When we begin to beg your pardon for simple descriptive words to assist in our basic understanding we hit PC and that is a problem.

Kind of makes me think of that article about the "youths" that raped the 11 year old in Texas. Many articles called these animals "youths" when several were over 18. Most did not say that the "youth" were black, which they were.

I tell you I wonder if even in a silly back and forth if we have not all become pc with out realizing it.

As for me, I see this man as elderly compared to life expectancy and an incredible testimony to endurance, luck and hope in times where everything around him seemed bleak. This older man and his very survival, is a miracle not someone or something that should be overlooked because he was appropriately or inappropriately listed as elderly.

Sigh, why does strike throu... (Below threshold)

Sigh, why does strike through work for you and not for me?

I bet its because I'm on the wrong side of 50. :/

Guess I'm on the 'right' si... (Below threshold)

Guess I'm on the 'right' side of fifty.


Aw, c'mon jennifer, lighten... (Below threshold)

Aw, c'mon jennifer, lighten up.

Besides, he isn't an American male, he's Japanese. Life expectancy for Japanese males is just under 79. I can't manage to think of someone nearly 20 years under the life expectancy as elderly.

Losen the bun Jennifer. Ric... (Below threshold)

Losen the bun Jennifer. Rick knows we're playing with him. He is kind enough to take it. He did not remove "elderly" just struck a line through it. Sometimes, even in chaos, we manage to have fun. ;) ww

ok so let's do some math. T... (Below threshold)

ok so let's do some math. The life expectancy in Japan is 78.

If you break it into thirds (young, middle age, old) 78/3 is 26 so you're really 'middle age' by 26 and old by 52. (In this country we call middle age anything over 75 and old is the term you use 2 weeks before someone dies of old age. But I digress)

Anyway, this old codger is almost a decade into the 'old' category... so yeah, he's elderly.

Quit listening to the TV tell you otherwise and admit how the aging process happens. I'm 44, I'll be 'old' soon. And I'm ok with it.






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