Of the three men who were lost at sea when their fishing boat capsized Saturday in Panama, Walter Dubarran was the last to be rescued. Dubarran survived in the water for 35-40 hours by strapping himself to a buoy. A search party on a boat funded by his lifelong friend, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, rescued him. It was the happy ending to a story that could've easily turned grim instead.
Dubarran and Jose Mercedes Rodriguez, both lifelong friends with Ruiz, had gone fishing Saturday with Blas Pitti. After the capsize, the currents drove the three men in different directions. Pitti was rescued shortly after the accident. But Rodriguez and Dubarran were still missing as it turned dark, prompting Ruiz to hire boats, helicopters and airplanes to search for them.
Both were found Sunday, and Ruiz paid for all three to be transferred to a private hospital. On Tuesday, Dubarran recorded an exclusive video for ThePostGame from his hospital room to give Ruiz a public thank-you message:
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