Surfer Rescued After 27 Hours At Sea
Fell overboard on surfing trip
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
South African surfer Brett Archibald was found by rescue crews on Wednesday after drifting unaided in the ocean for 27 hours. Archibald was travelling on a boat from from Padang, Indonesia, to the Mentawai Islands on a surf trip when he got seasick in the middle of the night and fell overboard. No one realized that he was missing until he failed to show up for breakfast the next morning
A Sydney-owned ship eventually found him, floating on his back 12 miles from the Mentawai Islands. “He said he came close to drowning at least eight times during his 27 hour ordeal and that he had been stung by jelly fish, picked at by fish and seagulls had tried to pluck his eyes out,” said rescuer Craig Lambinon.
Archibald remembered little from his ordeal, only that he was feeling seasick in the early hours of the morning, passed out, and woke up at about 3:00 a.m. in the water with the boat miles away. “I don’t think I could have gone much beyond today, by the time night came I might have been cactus,” Archibald said. “I had to get my rhythm, I was treading water for five minutes, then I’d swim again. I saw land five times, but I could never get closer, the current pulled me away every time.”