The River Monsters crew got quite the surprise while filming an episode that recently aired when they spotted a castaway on an island they believed to be uninhabited.
This discovery was shocking – that’s saying something, considering this Animal Planet show hunts for fish that’d give your nightmares nightmares – and about the last thing they expected.
Jeremy Wade, the show’s host, was one of five people to discover the castaway.
Stephen Shearman, the director of the episode (appropriately) named “Death Down Under,” says of first seeing the castaway, “this guy with no clothes was running out of the cave, waving his arms out.” He had been stranded for two days and was severely dehydrated. The man was prepared to die and was saying his last prayers.
According to Shearman, the episode involved an investigation into a mysterious plane crash that killed six men near the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The castaway, later introduced to the crew as Termine, a fisherman who had been out oystering on his boat when he decided to explore off his boat to have better luck.
After spending a few hours digging for oysters, Termine decided to head back to the boat, only he couldn’t find where he left it and got mixed up after going in the wrong direction.
“He had tried to walk back, got beaten by the sun, and made his way back to the beach,” Shearman said. “Meanwhile, he had suffered from sunstroke and was unable to go any further. He then spent that first night on the beach, and the next morning he tried again, but the sun had gotten to be too much for him, and at this point, he is now trapped.”
After some setbacks from trying to rehydrate Termine, his condition improved rather quickly. By the next day, he was ready to be sent home.
Termine was embarrassed at first about the whole ordeal, according to Shearman.
“I don’t know if you’ve met Australian men, but they’re very proud,” he explained. “The idea that he’d gotten lost was mortifying for him.”
It’s estimated Termine had been stranded for around 60 hours, the human body can’t go without water for much more than 72 hours, so he was lucky to be discovered when he was.
Besides a bruised ego, Shearman said Termine is doing fine after the incident. He even promised to start smoking again, that’s right, start smoking.
“He’s given up smoking, but he’s promised God he’s going to start smoking again. If he had a lighter, he’d be able to cook, and he’d have a fire,” Shearman said, laughing.
The episode featuring Termine’s rescue aired on Animal Planet last week.
You can catch River Monsters on Animal Planet Thursdays at 10 p.m.