A fishing trip for a Brazilian man named Romualdo Macedo Rodrigues turned into an 11-day-long nightmare after his boat sank in the Atlantic last month.

The man, who does not know how to swim, took refuge in a floating freezer from his boat and was rescued by other fishermen off the coast of Suriname 11 days later. Suriname is a country on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America.

The man had left for the trip in early August, and was found 280 miles away from where he sank.

According to Record TV, the man was taken to a hospital by the local authorities immediately after rescue. But his ordeal did not end there. He was kept in prison in Paramaribo for 16 days as he did not have proper documents to be in Suriname. He was later released and is now back home in Brazil.

"I was desperate. I thought my end was coming. But... God gave me one more chance. I saw [the freezer] wasn't sinking. I jumped, it fell to one side and kept floating," he told the Brazilian broadcaster.

"I was born again. I thought I wouldn't be telling this story, but I'm back here," he added.

During the 11 days of his ordeal, Rodrigues did not get any food or water. Once, his floating freezer was even surrounded by sharks.

"Sharks were surrounding the freezer, but they went away. I thought (I would be attacked). I stayed on the top (of the freezer), I didn't sleep, I didn't sleep. I saw the dawn, the dusk, asking God to send someone to rescue me," added Rodrigues.

He was found in a severely dehydrated state by local fishermen. He had lost around 11lbs of weight and his eyes had been damaged by the sun. He also had wounds caused by the prolonged sun exposure.

"I heard a noise, and there was a boat on top of the freezer. Only they thought there was no one there. Then they slowly pulled over, my vision was already fading, then I said, 'My God, the boat.' I raised my arms and asked for help," he said, explaining how grateful he was to have survived.

"That freezer was God in my life. The only thing I had was the freezer. It was a miracle."

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A boat is seen during low tide at the mouth of the Calcoene River where it joins the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Amapa state, northern Brazil Ricardo Moraes/Reuters