Surfer survives 27 hours in ocean after falling overboard off Indonesia

 

Sydney

A surfer has survived for more than 27 hours in the Indian Ocean despite being stung by jellyfish, bitten by fish and attacked by seagulls trying to peck out his eyes after falling overboard from a private charter boat.

South African Brett Archibald tumbled into the sea off the coast of Sumatra near Pedang in northern Indonesia. Mr Archibald, who was thought to be suffering from seasickness when he fell, was found floating on his back in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

It was only discovered that he had disappeared when he failed to arrive for breakfast, more than four hours after he entered the water. Once the crew of the Naga Laut discovered he was missing they immediately turned round to retrace their path. Other charter boats and Indonesian authorities joined the search before he was spotted by the Sydney-owned Barrenjoey, which found Mr Archibald near Sipora Island, about 10 miles from where he vanished. A fellow surfer who was aboard the Naga Laut told the surfing magazine Stab: “We think he must have fallen overboard when getting sick on deck while everyone was sleeping.” Referring to Mr Archibald by the nickname Archie he added: “Archie is strong enough mentally and physically to survive.”

All Aboard Travel charter fleet, which includes the Barrenjoey, said on its Facebook page: “He woke up thinking someone was splashing water on his face and realised he was in the whitewash of the boat, but he is in good spirits.”

  Speaking to his wife Anita in Cape Town by phone, Mr Archibald said he came close to drowning at least eight times but added that he had no intention of returning home early from his surfing holiday. After thanking his rescuers he reboarded the Naga Laut and returned to Pedang.

Mr Archibald’s ordeal was made all the more remarkable by the strong currents and debris in the 90-mile strait between Pedang and the Mentawai islands. Tree trunks were found floating in the water, which made it difficult for rescuers to find him.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Casual Visitor Experience Assistants

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To work within the Visitor Experience Departm...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services & Office / Accounts Administrator

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This online retailer of electronic acces...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitm...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy