Polish Kite Surfer, Jan Lisweki, Survives 40 Hours in Red Sea, Fending off 11 Sharks

A Polish kite surfer, Jan Lisweski, survived the battle of his life, fending off sharks, thirst, exhaustion and the unforgiving sea for two days.

Lisweski, 42, had attempted to cross the Red Sea from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia using only his kite. However, the winds stopped approximately two thirds across, and his kite began to descend into the sea.

Lisweski set off an S.O.S. just before he landed in the water. He said he did not expect extreme conditions in the Red Sea and his first night in the water was relatively peaceful. However, he ran out of water and did not have food. He used his kite to create a raft so he can sleep.

Lisweksi said he began drifting toward the coast. He saw a fisherman's boat and fired a rocket, but boat did not respond.

They must've not seen it, as they didn't react, said Lisweki according to the Polish Press Agency.  

Unfortunately, the wind began pushing Lisweksi back into the sea.

The second night was terrifying.

I was pushed by the wind to the worst place, a reef, where sharks have been preying, said Lisweki. He said the sharks were probably attracted to the color of his raft.

His only defense was knife his brother had given him.

I'll say that I owe surviving it to my brother Piotr, who forced me to take a knife, he said. Maybe he had some kind of premonition.

Using the knife, he stabbed the sharks in the eyes, nose and gills. He counted 11 sharks in total. Still, through all the chaos, he remained hopeful that he would survive.

[Hope] built up in me on Saturday afternoon, when a helicopter flew above me, he said. I was sure that the crew had seen me, because they were waving.

Eventually, after 40 hours braving the sea, a military boat picked him up and brought him back to land. He suffered no injuries, aside from dehydration and exhaustion.

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