South African surfer survives 28 hours lost at sea

April 18, 2013 | Surfing
Brett Archibald: shaving his surfer friend on the Naga Laut

A South African surfer has survived 28 hours lost at sea. Brett Archibald has been rescued in the Mentawai Strait by the boat "The Barrenjoey".

Brett Archibald is alive. The surfer was making a surf trip on the Naga Laut boat chart, across the 90-mile channel between Padang and the Mentawais.

He had been seen at 4:30am by another passenger, but in the morning breakfast there was no sign of the South African rider. Despite a global search led by surf charter boats and Indonesian authorities, Archibald couldn't be found.

After calculating the direction and strength of local sea and wind currents, Brett was found floating on his back in a stormy ocean, only 12 miles off the east coast of the Sipora Island.

"They eventually pinpointed the noise and found me in the binoculars and came and picked me up. I tell you, I'd never been so happy to see a boat in my entire life, even if it was full of Aussies! I'm a converted Aussie, I love these guys!" Archibald told our friends at Surfing Life Magazine.

Sunburnt and Dehydrated

The surfer was clearly sunburnt and dehydrated, but alive to tell the whole story. His wife was informed of the good news and later talked with her husband.

Brett told he'd been extremely sea sick and may have passed out on the deck of Naga Laut. He woke up already in the sea, behind the boat which continued away from him. No one onboard Naga Laut knew he had gone overboard", says Craig Lambinon, from the National Sea Rescue Institute.

Archibald revealed he came close to drowning, at least eight times, during his 27 hour ordeal and that he had been stung by jelly fish, picked at by fish and seagulls had tried to pluck his eyes out. Sharks were all around, too.

Meanwhile, Archibald has confirmed with doctors that he can carry on with his surf trip.