A man, alone, found his boat hopelessly flooded. It was a nightmare as depicted in the Robert Redford movie All Is Lost.
All was lost for the 67-year-old Ron when a sudden storm flooded his sailboat and swept it 200 miles off the coast of Hawaii.
In a mayday call, Ron said, “Small boat in danger of sinking!”
When the storm lifted, Ron’s radio was dead.
He told INSIDE EDITION, “For 12 days I had no food or water.”
Unbeknown to Ron, the U.S. Coast Guard picked up his mayday call. The Coast Guard spent days searching a huge expanse of the Pacific Ocean, but came up empty-handed.
Three thousand miles away, in Missouri, lived Zak Ingraham, Ron's long-lost son. They hadn't spoken in 20 years, losing touch after his parents divorced.
Zak got the heartbreaking news that his dad was missing and presumed dead.
“It was a heck of a way to find him after 20 years,” Zak told INSIDE EDITION.
Then came another echo from All Is Lost in a scene where a desperate Redford attempted to fix his water-logged radio.
Ron Ingraham did a MacGyver. He rigged a makeshift antenna with a couple of pieces of wire.
Ron said, “I pointed it out the door, grabbed the mic. ‘Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!’
Ron's transmission lasted exactly seven seconds, but against all odds, the U.S. Navy picked it up. This time they were able to pin down his coordinates. A warship raced to the rescue.
“All of a sudden the sun blocks out the doorway. What!? I look up, there's a destroyer right there,” Ron said.
Navy crewmen pulled alongside and a medic checked Ron out. He was weak but okay.
In Missouri, his son was told the remarkable news. Not long after came the moment 20 years in the making.
Tears flowed as two decades of lost time melted away in a single embrace between father and son.
When they embraced, Zak declared, "I love you pop."
Zak came with his long-time girlfriend, Katie, and their eight-year-old son, Bryson, the grandson Ron never even knew he had. Together they joined Ron on a motorboat trip. It was Ron’s first time on the ocean since his All Is Lost nightmare.
A joyous end to this tale of the old man and the sea, and the long-lost son.
Ron declared, “I got my son back. It was a beautiful moment and it was worth every bit of it.”