A Shipwreck Killed Her Family, She Was Saved and Reunited With Her Saviors 35 Years Later

It’s not every day that you get to reunite with the people who saved your life in accidents. Usually, most rescuers are just passersby who happened to be at the right place at the right time. This was the same case with fisherman Paul Strasser and Mark Pisano.

Desireé Rodriguez, now Desireé Campuzano, center, Mark Pisano, left, and Paul Strasser.

Desireé Rodriguez, now Desireé Campuzano, center, Mark Pisano, left, and Paul Strasser. Source: latimes.com

These fishermen happened to notice a nine-year-old girl flailing around in the Pacific Ocean in 1986. This was Desiree Rodriguez, now known as Desiree Campuzano. A horrifying shipwreck had claimed the lives of her entire family, including her parents, sister, and aunt, and uncle.

The Good Samaritans Rescue the Young Girl

Of course, it was a no-brainer for the two fishermen, Paul Strasser and Mark Pisano, who immediately jumped into action. They rescued the young girl, and she became the sole survivor of this boating accident.

Desireé Rodriguez

Source: goodhouse.ru

After having rescued her, the two fishermen felt like Desiree was almost a ghost to them. She had been released into the world, and they had no contact with her since then.

It All Began With a Podcast

Paul Strasser and Mark Pisano did not give a second thought to the nine-year-old girl they rescued from the Pacific Ocean in 1986. This changed, however, when Pisano appeared on a podcast known as Friedman Adventures.

An undated photo of Paul Strasser, left, and Mark Pisano.

An undated photo of Paul Strasser, left, and Mark Pisano. Source: latimes.com

Friedman Adventures, by Philip Friedman, is a podcast where fishers discuss stories about boats, fishing tips, and catches. Pisano happened to mention the rescue that had occurred 35 years earlier, and the host of the podcast was inspired to locate Desiree Rodriguez.

A Co-Worker Puts Two and Two Together

At the same time, Pablo Pena was listening to the same podcast in LA. When he heard of the boating accident that Pisano mentioned, the incident rang a bell in his head. He remembered an offhand remark made by a co-worker about a boating accident where she lost her family.

Pisano grabbing Rodriguez’s life jacket

Pisano is grabbing Rodriguez’s life jacket. Source: latimes.com

Just then, Pisano mentioned on the podcast that the name of the girl was Desiree Rodriguez. This was the same Desiree that Pablo knew!

The Wheels Begin to Turn

Pablo immediately sent out a message of his revelation to the podcast host, Friedman, who then devised the plan to reunite Desiree with her rescuers. He invited the 44-year-old woman on his podcast as a Spanish translator for the fisherman’s story.

The Los Angeles Times article about the search

The Los Angeles Times article about the search followed for Desireé‘s father, uncle, and sister. Source: latimes.com

Once Pisano realized that this was the same Desiree from his story, the group broke down as they finally reunited in an emotional scene.