CHICAGO
04/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Naperville Man Survives Three-Day Shipwreck On Ketchup And Chinese Takeout

Richard McClow is tough. At 79, he's survived a triple-bypass and is a competitive swimmer. But three days shipwrecked on a tiny Bahamian island can be hard on anyone.

"He did say that he was running out of food, that he was ready to give up," his son David told the Sun-Times.

McClow, of Naperville, set sail from Florida on Friday, alone. He was headed to meet his girlfriend on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. But storm swells drove his boat into a reef, and marooned him on Grand Sale Cay, a tiny uninhabited speck of land.

The only food he had available was what was in his ice chest: bread, cheese, ketchup and Chinese takeout.

A bed sheet also washed up on shore from his capsized boat, which McClow fashioned into a flag to wave down help. After days of failed attempts to find rescue, he was spotted on Monday by a shipping vessel, which brought him to nearby Freeport.

Exhausted from his ordeal, McClow wasn't talking to reporters. But his family expressed their gratitude for his safe return. "I'm exhausted and relieved," said his son David. One can imagine that's how his father feels, too.