Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A stranded Bakken oil worker was rescued on Monday from an island in a North Dakota lake after his canoe tipped during a fishing trip.

According to the Associated Press, Eric Gauthier, 34, was fishing on Lake Audubon on Sunday when strong wind gusts tipped over his canoe, forcing him to fight five foot high waves as he swam 200 yards to a nearby island for safety.

Gauthier, who is from Michigan, jogged to help keep his circulation up and insulated his clothes and an animal nest he found with grass to keep warm.

His fiance, Bonnie Trapp, contacted authorities on Sunday night when she didn’t hear from him.

Local, state and federal officials collaborated with the Civil Air Patrol and a Florida-based Air Force rescue coordination center to conduct an aerial search.

Using cell phone signal data, the rescue crew was able to narrow down Gauthier’s possible location and managed to spot him from the air on Monday.

Gauthier, who had been working as part of a pipeline inspection team in Bakken before the incident, was taken to a hospital in Garrison, North Dakota and released with no serious injuries.

While trapped on the island, Gauthaier carved letters to his loved ones on driftwood using a pickup truck key.

Trapp told the Bismarck Tribune that she would eventually like to recover the letters.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see him again,” Trapp told the paper.


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