Sailor rescued off Big Island has gotten into trouble on high se - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sailor rescued off Big Island has gotten into trouble on high seas before

(Image: Rimas Meleshyus) (Image: Rimas Meleshyus)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

During the three days before he was rescued off the Big Island on Tuesday, sailor Rimas Meleshyus could think of little else than how hungry he was.

"You dream about food, you dream about water," the 64-year-old said. "You cannot imagine no food no water."

Meleshyus made a distress call to the Coast Guard some 11 miles to the northeast of the Big Island. First responders arrived, picked him up, and towed him in.

It's not a surprise, though, that the Russian ex-patriot ran out of food so far from shore. He had set sail from California 46 days prior with limited supplies. "I look in my food, maybe I have less than a month food and 15-gallon water."

Fortunately, Meleshyus began rationing his food and water early on. "Last 15 days maybe I eat only one can. And water I drink very little," he said.

But should he have been sailing at all, especially since this isn't the first time he's needed help on the open seas?

In March, he needed help while sailing off San Francisco.

In 2014, a major search was launched for him when he went missing in the Pacific. Later that year, he had to be towed into harbor in Pago Pago.

And in 2012, he wrecked off the Aleutian Islands. 

Some in the sailing community say he doesn't know how to sail at all -- that he simply drifts with the wind and currents.

When asked about that, Meleshyus was undaunted by the criticism. "I no worry about it. Coast Guard always been good to me. Need to be positive, need to be good, good, good attitude," he said.

Meleshyus says it will take three to four months to fix his boat in Hawaii. After that, he says he's heading to the South Pacific.

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