Surfer 27 Hours at Sea After Falling Overboard Finally Rescued

Monday, 22 Apr 2013 11:01 AM

By Michael Mullins

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After falling overboard in the middle of the night, Brett Archibald floated in rough seas without a lifejacket for 27 hours while being stung by jelly fish, nibbled on by random fish, and pecked at by seagulls.

The 50-year-old from Camps Bay, South Africa, was traveling last week off the Indonesian coast on a surfing trip. Archibald said he got sick from the rough seas and was vomiting over the side of the boat when he fell in the ocean. Archibald wasn't discovered missing until the following morning when he didn't show up for breakfast.

Over the 27 hours, Archibald drifted nearly 11 miles from where he initially disappeared.

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Sunburned and dehydrated, but otherwise in good spirits, Archibald was rescued from the Mentawai Strait, a popular destination for surfers, reported the Daily Mail.

A search-and-rescue effort was conducted by the Indonesian Coast Guard, but it was a Sydney-owned cruise boat, "The Barrenjoey," that eventually discovered Archibald.

The South African surfer was immediately taken to a hospital in Panang, West Sumatra.

"He said he came close to drowning at least 8 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 of South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute commented on the Facebook page "Searching for Brett Archibald."

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Archibald was in "good spirits" at the time of his rescue and "highly complimented his rescuers on Barrenjoey," according to Lambinon.

When speaking to his wife, Archibald said "he wants to complete his surfing trip before returning home and that he didn't fly all that way to tread water for 27 hours," said Lambinon.

Related stories:

Carnival Ship Overboard Incident: Dock Worker Still Missing


Angry Passengers Watch 7-year-old Thrown Overboard


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