It could be one of the most incredible survival stories of all time.
In 1991, a man named Michael Proudfoot was supposedly SCUBA diving on a shipwreck off the coast of Baja, Mexico, when his regulator—or mouthpiece—broke. He was alone, deep underwater inside a sunken ship, with only minutes to survive before he ran out of air.
But Proudfoot was lucky—he found an air pocket in the ship’s kitchen. He could breath and it bought him some time. In fact, it bought him a lot of time. He waited, then waited some more. A full day went by. Eventually he got thirsty. So he looked around and found an undisturbed teakettle full of fresh water that he could drink.
And then he waited another full day.
Proudfoot became hungry. And at some point, the story goes, he also found and ate sea urchins. Eventually, he was rescued. When we read this we thought: this is remarkable. We have to talk to this guy.
So began a bizarre and perplexing manhunt that we’re still working on. And now, we need your help.
The “Science of Survival” is a joint project of Outside and PRX. Support for the series comes from the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation and its commitment to storytelling around STEM issues.