Internet watches live as East Texas man experiences life on deserted island

Tyler man streams live from deserted island.

TYLER - A Tyler man is not only choosing to live on a deserted island, he's streaming the experience live on Facebook so you can follow along too.

On October 12, Mack McGowen arrived on Brunette Island – part of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It;s all part of an idea called Castaway LIVE -- a project unlike any other McGowen, owner of TopDrive Communications, has worked on before.

"I've done oil and gas communications the last five years and done some truly remote high speed internet setups," McGowen said.

You won't find a volleyball named Wilson on Brunette Island. Instead, you'll find Mack, several survival tools and a device he designed himself.

The producers of Castaway LIVE recruited the Grace Community School graduate in 2015, as they wanted to see if his broadband device used in the oil field would allow them to stream live video from a remote location.

Initially, McGowen only intended to help with the technology for the project, but that plan changed.

"I definitely wasn't supposed to be the one out here," McGowen told CBS19 via Skype Thursday. "There was somebody else with a lot more experience being a survivalist, but he backed out."

In an effort to see the project through, McGowen, an avid outdoorsman, stepped up to live alone on Brunette Island. He even celebrated his 30th birthday while there.

Ask Mack what he has learned from this experience, and he'll tell you survival is about much more than finding food and shelter.

"It's about your attitude," he said. "It's about the things you hold dear. It's about faith and family -- that's really what gets you through those hard  times when you're down and you don't have enough food, and you're making bad decisions. The most important tool is your attitude really."

Back at home, McGowen's biggest fans are watching online -- wife Lauren and 5-month-old daughter Sheridan.

"It's really hard to be on time anywhere because all we do is watch him," Lauren said. "In the morning and at night: We wake up to him, we go to bed to him."

If weather conditions allow, McGowen hopes to arrive back home in time for Sheridan's first Halloween.

The family's costumes are based on none other than "Cast Away" -- with Mack dressing as Tom Hanks' character, Lauren going as a FedEx package, and Sheridan wearing a Wilson volleyball costume.

Click here to check out more of Mack’s videos on the Castaway LIVE Facebook page.

(© 2016 KYTX)


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