A man falls overboard during a surfing trip and drifts in shark-infested waters without a life jacket for 27 hours.
He nearly drowns. Seagulls try to pluck his eyes out. He’s stung by jellyfish. Against all odds he survives.
It sounds like a Hollywood movie, but for South African surfer Brett Archibald the ordeal was all too real.
The 50-year-old was on a boat traveling to the Mentawai Islands off the coast of Indonesia when he became seasick. It is thought he “passed out” and fell overboard into rough seas.
When the Cape Town man woke up, he was in the water and the boat was moving away from him.
His companions on the overnight tour boat reported him missing when he didn’t show up for breakfast.
An Australian-owned private charter boat, which had joined the search for the missing surfer, found Archibald at 1 a.m. local time on Thursday, News Limited Network reported.
He was sunburned and dehydrated, but otherwise in good health.
A message posted on a Facebook page called "Searching for Brett Archibald" announced his rescue.
"After 27 hours, Brett was found floating on his back - sunburnt, dehydrated but alive!!!"
Archibald told his rescuers he nearly drowned eight times, was stung by jellyfish, nibbled by fish and nearly lost his eyes to seagulls, National Sea Rescue Institute spokesman Craig Lambinon told SAPA.
Despite his ordeal, Archibald told his wife he planned to finish his surfing trip because “he didn’t fly all that way to tread water for 27 hours,” International Business Times reported.