A South African surfer was found alive on Wednesday after it is suspected that he fell overboard on a surfing trip and survived in the water for 27 hours.
Brett Archibald was found floating on his back in the Indian Ocean — alive — by a rescue team 12 miles off of the Mentawai Island of Sipora. Archibald was part of a group traveling on a surf trip to Indonesia, and it is believed that he fell overboard during the night while battling seasickness.
When Archibald didn’t show up for breakfast, his travelmates knew something was wrong.
Archibald was eventually found by the crew of a boat out of Sydney after treading in the water for more than a day.
The married father of two told the magazine Surfing Life that he suspects he passed out at some point while getting sick and woke up in the water around 3:15 a.m. with the boat miles away in front of him.
“He said he came close to drowning at least eight times during his 27 hour ordeal [swimming and drifting at sea] and that he had been stung by jelly fish, picked at by fish and seagulls had tried to pluck his eyes out,” Craig Lambinon, who works in Sea Rescue Communications for the National Sea Rescue Institute told Stab.
Archibald said he wouldn’t have been able to last at sea much longer than he did. He said that he saw land at least five times but was unable to get close to it because the current kept pulling him out.
Photo via Facebook/Searching For Brett Archibald