It’s like someone’s worst drinking nightmare come true. As the police report recalls, Stephen Coffee of South Carolina was headed to a bar for a night of imbibing. When he woke up, he was stranded on a deserted island, cold and confused after an apparent blackout.
Coffee was discovered on Drum Island in Charleston after some runners saw him from the bridge stumbling around below them, and called the authorities. To reach Coffee, firefighters had to rappel to the island from the bridge, as there was apparently no easier way to get to the bewildered man.
Coffee told police that the last thing he could remember was going to the bar, and then swimming “for a really long time.” Facing low temperatures, Coffee reportedly yelled for hours trying to get someone to give him a coat or a blanket.
The island is a small patch of land under the Ravenel Bridge on the Cooper River.
While awaiting his rescue, police officers said Coffee alternately floated in the water and lied down on the ground in fetal position. Eventually, a boat took Coffee to the hospital for evaluation. Despite the ordeal, he did not suffer any major injuries.
Such blackouts generally only occur with the consumption of large amounts of alcohol. After a blackout, the drinker cannot remember anything that happens while inebriated. However, he or she can typically still remember what they have been doing for the last couple of minutes, which enables them to carry on somewhat normal conversations.
The college notes that most blackouts occur when the blood-alcohol concentration is at least .25, and that other psychological functions may also be impaired during the blackout period. Thus, the drinker may do or say unusual things, and may lack impulse control. That certainly described the case of Mr. Coffee.