(11-22) 18:58 PST CONCORD — What appeared to be a harrowing story of survival emerged from Suisun Bay on Monday – that of a wayward rafter who spent five days stranded on a deserted island nibbling on vitamins and native plants and fashioning a crude “SOS” sign until the U.S. Coast Guard rescued him.
But after returning to shore, Brian “Goat Man” Hopper added a twist to the tale. He admitted that he failed to make use of a key piece of equipment during his stay on Roe Island north of Concord: a cellular telephone.
“I was embarrassed to be stranded on an island,” Hopper, a 54-year-old artist from Encino (Los Angeles County), told The Chronicle. “I thought I could fix my boat and make it to land. … I didn’t want to spend the taxpayers’ money to have the Coast Guard come rescue some stupid guy.”
But on Monday morning, the Coast Guard did collect Hopper on a 25-foot boat after receiving a call from one of his friends – a man Hopper had telephoned directly.