sail-world.com -- Overboard surfer rescued by yacht after 27hours treading water
Overboard surfer rescued by yacht after 27hours treading water
Sat, 20 Apr 2013
In a bizarre incident, a holidaying surfer on a chartered surfing boat, who merely went on deck during the night to relieve himself and fell overboard, has been rescued 27 hours later in Indonesian waters by an Australian sailing yacht who joined the search after he was reported missing.
South African surfer Brett Archibald was on a surfing holiday, surfing the waves along the Mentawai Islands' famous coastline when he fell overboard during the night. His holiday companions and the crew of the chartered surfing boat Naga Laut did not miss him for many hours later. He trod water without any floatation for an incredible 27 hours before John and Belinda McGroder, on their 70ft ketch Barrenjoey, spotted him in the waves.
The National Sea Rescue Institute’s Craig Lambinon said the Indonesion Maritime Rescue Authorities – aided by the British maritime rescue organisation RNLI – the Australian maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Jakarta Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre and a host of private boats including yachts and fishing boats were included in the alert.
Speaking about his long sojourn in the water, Brett told surfing magazine Surfing Life?nid=108618 afterwards that he had almost given up. When found his nose had been deeply lacerated by seagulls.
'The night was carnage. I had sharks swimming past me, I got stung by a jelly fish… Seagulls even tried to pick my eyes out, so I have big holes in my nose.
'It was insane, just insane. I actually gave up. I went under and said, ‘screw this, I can’t carry on’. But I couldn’t swallow water, I couldn’t get my lungs to take the water and I kept coming back up.
'So then I pulled myself together, said, ‘Okay, we need to keep going here’, and I kept swimming and treading water.'
He told the surfing website that there was no driftwood or rogue boogie boards to latch on to and that he almost drowned eight times.
On Thursday at dawn, the surfer felt the end was close. It had been 28 hours of keeping his head above water, the sun beating down on his face as fish nipped at his body.
The sight of Barrenjoey at 6.30am was a sweet one. John and Belinda McGroder had heard the call and set out earlier, armed with binoculars, to join the search.
They fished out the exhausted surfer who was ecstatic to be back on 'solid ground'. Jarvis said the surfer seemed to forget the ordeal and was buoyed by a rush of adrenalin.
'He still has a bit of damage to his kidneys and lungs due to the dehydration, but other than that he’s okay… As you can imagine he’s just incredibly exhausted.'
In the meantime Brett's wife and two small children, back in Cape Town, had been 'staving off terrible thoughts'.
She extended her thanks to everyone who helped with the search operation. 'I believe it was your support that kept him afloat.'
Archibald’s friends reported that the surfer had crumpled into an exhausted heap on to a bunk, and was sleeping off the ordeal, getting ready to face the waves under better circumstances.
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 400 yachts and 4300 competitors annually taking part in the event. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom. [More info]
Hood Sailmakers (Aust) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated. The first sail loft outside of the USA to be granted a franchise in 1968 by the founder Ted Hood. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Quantum Australasia Pty Ltd
Quantum Sail Design Group designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racers and cruisers who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]