A South African man, Brett Archibald, was on a surf trip with his friends on a charter boat deep into the Indian Ocean. He woke up at night, feeling sick, went to the side of the boat, and suddenly felt dizzy. The next thing he knew he was in the water next to their ship, watching it sail away.
Archibald immediately started doing the math. He figured it would be another seven hours until his friends woke up and noticed he was missing and at least an additional seven hours for the boat to come back for him. He did not even want to factor in currents and how much harder that would make for a boat to rescue him.
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He treads water while holding some hope of a rescue. He said that his life flashed before his eyes and he was beyond all shadows of doubt that he would die in that sea.
Archibald was bitten continuously by jellyfish and even had some run-ins with sharks. At the time he thought the sharks were the deadlier type. Luckily they turned out to be reef sharks which lost interest quickly. Nevertheless, these encounters only added to his horrific ordeal of trying to stay alive in the ocean without a sliver of hope to be rescued.
Archibald recounted that he had a lot of time to re-assess his life and how he lived it. He used to think he was a good person and a good father. The more that his brain went on he realized that he had not been the best father that he could be.
Archibald had to keep his mind occupied or face losing all hope and his sanity. He recalls singing Elton John songs and even reciting cell phone contacts.
As the hours went on, Archibald suffered many painful cramps, acute dehydration along with the persistent jellyfish stings.
Then, a charter boat, which he initially discounted as a hallucination, got within a few meters of him. He yelled, flailed, did everything he could to get the boat's attention. His efforts were to no avail, and he watched the boat pull away, completely gutting his spirits.
After what he thought was his only chance at survival failed, he gave up the little hope that he had. He sunk to the bottom and was prepared to have the nightmare end. As he took a breath of water, he began to choke and instinctively rose to the surface.
What he saw when he surfaced, he thought, was undoubtedly a hallucination this time. It was another charter boat.
This time, it was a boat that was part of a search party to look for Archibald. An Australian captain, Tony Etherington, took a chance reading the currents and calculating where Archibald might be and it paid off!
What Archibald had seen was the mast of the Barrenjoey, Etherington's boat.
He was unbelievably saved and the medic who was on the boat said that he estimated Archibald had less than an hour to live had he not been rescued. He also noted that Archibald appeared to have lost 13 pounds during his harrowing ordeal.
If this story of almost certain death turning into a spectacular rescue in the 29th hour was not awe-inspiring enough, Archibald was on another boat with his surf buddies the following day!
Archibald had these words of encouragement for anyone who hears his story; life is short, live it well, have no regrets. He says that he had 29 hours of time to regret. He has a second lease on life and he intends to make it better.Posted in News and filed under inspirational, good vibes.