Utila Mayor, Alton Cooper, prefers to fish during the weekend, but with the forecast calling for bad weather on Saturday, he decided to go a few days early.
As usual, Alton and friend Paul, prepared the boat at 3 A.M. and headed out in hopes of catching a few Mutton Snappers, Alton’s favorite fish. After a few hours at sea and zero Mutton Snappers on the line, Alton heard a faint scream in the distance, causing him to perk up his ears and alert his friend. They headed North as the screams became more and more conspicuous.
After navigating three quarters of a mile, they found a man floating on an ice chest. The man used a rope to keep himself attached to the chest. Once on the boat, the man revealed that he and his brother were shipwrecked by a wave that slammed their vessel. Alton’s boat proceeded to scan the area in search for his brother, then navigated towards Cayos Cochinos where they could report the incident. On Cayos Cochinos, the fisherman stated the he was stranded at sea four days. After leaving Cayos Cochinos, Alton spent a few more hours searching for the other fisherman but was unable to locate him. The fisherman was found 10 miles away from Cayos Cochinos, and 17 miles away from Utila.
The rescued fisherman, Callejas, 42 year old resident of Rio Esteban in Colon will be transported to La Ceiba where he will receive treatment. His 30 year old brother, whose name is not known at the time, attempted to swim towards the coast in an effort to return with a rescue team. His whereabouts are still not known.
Alton has served as Utila’s Mayor since 2002, this incident is sure to win him a few extra votes this coming election.