South African surfer Brett Archibald rescued after floating for 27 hours in sea off Indonesian coast
Timeshare industry executive Brett Archibald has been rescued after a 27 hour long ordeal when he fell overboard while on an overnight crossing from Padang in the Mentawais Strait.
Mr Archibald, who was most recently a Senior VP at RCI EMEAI, was found by a Sydney-owned private charter boat after disappearing while travelling with 10 other passengers on a tour boat making the overnight trip from Padang.
He had not been feeling well and after failing to turn up for breakfast was reported missing by a fellow passenger on the charter boat Nagu Laut. The vessel immediately turned round to retrace its path, while the crew alerted Indonesian search and rescue teams and all charter boats in the vicinity.
The 50 year old father and Cape Town resident had reportedly been suffering from seasickness during the night, just before he disappeared.
A number of private surf charter boats in the immediate area also joined the urgent search to find him, and miraculously, he was rescued 20 kilometres or so from where he had fallen overboard 27 hours earlier after being spotted by the captain of a private charter vessel, the Barrenjoey, owned by Sydney couple John and Belinda McGroder.
“Brett Archibald has boarded the Barenjoey 20 mins ago,” wrote All Aboard Travel on their Facebook. “He is alive. A bit sunburnt and dehydrated. He was floating alone. The boat is taking him to the Indies Trader III so that he can phone his wife.”
Archibald has told reporters that he doubted he could have lasted much longer:
“The human body is an amazing, amazing thing,” said the father of two. “I don’t think I could have gone much beyond today…I saw land five times but I could never get closer, the current pulled me away every time.”
Latest reports confirm he has already spoken to his wife and is now recovering well from the ordeal.