A South African man was found alive at sea in Indonesia Wednesday after treading water for 27 hours.
Surfer Brett Archibald was reported missing Wednesday after falling off a ship, Naga Laut, following a trip to the the Mentawi Islands off Sumatra with friends, ABC News reported Friday.
According to a friend of Archibald, the surfer suffered from multiple animal attacks during his stint at sea, including a seagull attack where a bird pecked at this eyes, jellyfish stings and fish bites as he floated on his back waiting for rescue.
Local authorities said they did not immediately establish a search-and-rescue team for the missing surfer but did receive a report of his rescue Thursday. Archibald was found wearing a life jacket, according to Indonesian authorities. According to Vibe, Archibald’s missing report was delayed as fellow crew members didn’t notice he was missing until the following morning.
“The human body is an amazing thing. I don’t think I could have gone much beyond today; by the time night came I might have been cactus,” Archibald said.
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Archibald told authorities that he saw land five times during his 27-hour swim but couldn’t reach it because of the Indian Ocean’s strong currents, admitting he almost died eight times during the ordeal. The father of two was eventually rescued by a Sydney-owned ship, Barrenjoy.
Despite his treacherous experience, Archibald is ready to head back to the sea, saying he didn’t visit the island just to tread water and that he wanted to surf.
Wife of the surfer Anita Archibald, who started a Facebook page aimed toward finding her husband, said his rescue was a time of high-fiving, hugging and grown men dancing.
“He is sounding so strong and happy. His body is a bit battered and sore but on the mend. ... He is so overwhelmed by the massive response and had no idea how many people were praying for him, thinking of him and wishing him well,” she said.
“There are no words to express my gratitude and love for everyone who stopped to think of my husband. ... To say I am overwhelmed is the understatement of the century,” she said.