Appeared gaunt and emaciated before his release from North Vietnam after 2 1/2 years of captivity. His weight loss was about 60 pounds. The young sailor accidentally fell overboard while his ship was in the gulf of Tonkin in April 1967. He was picked up by North Vietnamese Fishermen who turned him over to the military. Hegdahl and two other Americans were freed on 5 August 1969, 32 days after Hanoi radio had announced the impending release of prisoners but without disclosing the names and thus shattering the hopes of hundreds of other imprisoned men's families who waited in vain.