SA man found alive after 27 hours at sea in Indonesia

A Cape Town man has been found sunburnt and dehydrated, but alive, after drifting at sea for 27 hours without a life jacket in Indonesia, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

“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 jellyfish, picked at by fish, and seagulls had tried to pluck his eyes out,” NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said today.

Brett Archibald, from Camps Bay, was on a boat during a surfing trip to the Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra, when he became seasick. He was thought to have passed out on the deck and fallen overboard, said Lambinon.

He said Archibald remembered waking up in the sea and seeing the boat move away from him.

No one aboard the boat, the Naga Laut, realised he had gone overboard.

He was found around 1am today near Sipura Island by people onboard a surf charter boat. Lambinon said Archibald was apparently in good spirits, but his medical condition would be assessed. He intended completing his surfing trip before returning home.

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