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Amazing tale of survival: Father survives 27 HOURS lost at sea - without life jacket

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 18th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's an amazing example of survival, the human spirit and the phrase - "never give up." A father of two has survived 27 hours adrift in the sea - without a life jacket. Sunburned and dehydrated but in good spirits, Brett Archibald, from Camps Bay, South Africa is glad to be alive.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - The 50-year-old Archibald's ordeal began after he leaned over the side of his boat to vomit, and was then tossed into the unrelenting waters off the coast of Indonesia.

Archibald, recovering from his hospital bed told his wife that he had come close to drowning at least eight times during his ordeal was stung by jellyfish, had seagulls try to peck his eyes out and fish nibble at his body.

In spite of all of this, he says he wants to complete his surfing trip before returning home, joking "I didn't fly all that way to tread water for 27 hours."

Archibald had been among 10 passengers taking an overnight trip aboard the Indonesian tour boat Naga Laut from Panang to the Mentawai Islands, a popular spot for surfers.

As he took ill as the boat sailed rough seas, he believes he may have passed out and fallen overboard. When he came to, believing someone was splashing water in his face, he realized he was already in the wash of the Naga Laut, some 20 miles from the nearest shore, and could only watch as the vessel sailed away.

It was only after he failed to turn up for breakfast that passengers realized Archibald was missing. As soon as the alarm was raised, a massive search and rescue effort began coordinated by the Indonesian Coast Guard.

While rescue vessels mobilized, after more than 24 hours missing at sea. There was deemed little hope that he would be found alive.

Then -- 27 hours after he fell overboard, the Sydney-owned cruise boat the Barrenjoey, which was in the area and which joined the searching armada, found Archibald floating on his back.

"Family and friends of Brett Archibald are overjoyed by news that Brett has been found alive and well, although sunburnt and dehydrated," a special Facebook page declared.
 
"Sincerest gratitude is extended by Brett's wife Anita Archibald and the family and friends of Brett to the crew of the motor sail boat Barrenjoey and to all Indonesian maritime rescue services, Australian and United Kingdom maritime rescue and the private volunteers who assisted and who were involved in the search and rescue operation that brought this effort to a successful conclusion ." a communiqué later read.

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