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John Aldridge (left) stands next to his sister-in-law,
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John Aldridge (left) stands next to his sister-in-law, Jillian Aldridge, and his sister, Cathy Patterson, as they wait for the New London ferry to go home after he was from the hospital in Falmouth, Mass. Aldridge, 45, used his rubber boots as a life raft as he struggled to stay afloat in the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 12 hours before Coast Guard rescuers plucked him from the water Wednesday, more than 40 miles from where he had fallen overboard. (July 25, 2013)(Credit: Newsday / Jeremiah Robinson)

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LI fisherman John Aldridge rescued at sea

John Aldridge, a Montauk commercial fisherman, fell overboard about 3:30 a.m. on July 24, 2013, while working as part of a crew on the 44-foot fishing vessel Anna Mary. For nearly 12 hours, he was in the water swimming and fighting to stay afloat until he was plucked from the Atlantic Ocean by a Coast Guard helicopter, part of a multistate team that began searching for him when a member of his crew reported him missing. Officials say he was found more than 40 miles from where he went overboard. Aldridge, 45, says thoughts of his nephew and his own fishing boots, which he used as flotation devices, helped him stay alive while he dodged fins, which might have been sharks'.