Sailor endures 14 hours in Pacific holding on to fishing buoy after falling overboard

Sailor survives 14 hours in Pacific clinging to fishing buoy after falling overboard

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Feeling hot and woozy, a sailor onboard a freight ship in the South Pacific headed outdoors to the deck for a little air.

He would, his boy later on informed regional media, invest a minimum of the next 14 hours frantically battling the waves and holding on to an old fishing buoy for survival.

Lithuanian engineer Vidam Perevertilov, 52, had actually been working a regular graveyard shift in the engine space of the “Silver Supporter” previously this month as it cruised in between New Zealand’s Tauranga port and the Pitcairn Islands, a small British abroad area.

But at around 4: 00 a.m. on Feb 16. he fell overboard after relatively passing out.

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Adrift in darkness and without a life vest, his hopes were raised as the sun increased.

“He could see a black dot in the horizon still several kilometers away,” his boy Marat informed New Zealand news site Stuff. So he started swimming towards it.

“It turned out to be an old fishing buoy…It was not anchored to anything or a boat, it was just a piece of sea rubbish,” Marat stated.

“His will to survive was strong,” he included.

NBC News was not able to reach Marat or his daddy for instant remark.

A buoy drifting in the sea, comparable to the one utilized by a Lithuanian sailor who was stranded in the Pacific for a minimum of 14 hours.Maria Mollace / Getty Images/EyeEm file

The engineer’s boy stated that as quickly as the team saw his daddy was missing they backtracked their motions and sent distress informs to ships in the area, amongst them French Polynesia’s JRCC Tahiti.

“What happened next was nearly inexplicable,” Marat informed the New Zealand news website.

“The Silver Supporter was running search patterns and one of the passengers said he had heard a weak, human shout on the starboard side of the ship” around 400 nautical miles south of French Polynesia’s Austral Islands.

Parched, exhausted and looking 20 years older, according to Marat, the team tossed Vidam a lifebuoy, reduced a ladder and pulled him back on board — half a day after he had actually left them.

His boy calls the rescue “incredible” and credits his father’s survival with keeping himself healthy and fit.

A declaration from the High Commission of the French Republic in French Polynesia validated that the JRCC Tahiti had actually reacted to calls to help in the search.

It stated it had actually notified French navy airplane in close-by Tahiti along with its meteorological firm, Météo-France, which started determining the sailor’s possible drift based upon winds.

“A happy ending for the man and the whole crew of the Silver Supporter, a relief for all those who contributed to the search,” the declaration stated.

The occurrence highlights “how dangerous life and working at sea are even in the 21st century” along with the advantages of contemporary marine innovation, stated Dr Chris Ware, a senior speaker in marine history and director of the Greenwich Maritime Centre in London.

“The fact that on any other day the buoy, which was adrift, would be see as marine pollution in this case turned out to be a life saver,” he included.

The Silver Supporter freight vessel from which a Lithuanian sailor fell and was then saved after more than 14 hours in the water.French Polynesia’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre / AFP – Getty Images file

Britain’s High Commissioner to New Zealand and Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, Laura Clarke, tweeted that the rescue was an “extraordinary survival story,” including that it would impress even Captain Bligh, the well known skipper of the “HMS Bounty.”

The ship suffered a mutiny in 1789, which was promoted in a Hollywood motion picture including star Marlon Brando in 1962.

The bulk of Pitcairn Islanders have European and Polynesian roots and are come down from 9 mutineers of the British vessel. Most residents transfer to Australia and New Zealand for school and work.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic all tourist to the remote sandy Pitcairn — the only populated island in the group, roughly 2 miles long and 1 mile broad — have actually been stopped.

While the Silver Supporter was allowed to bring products to the island, its schedule was significantly lowered to “protect its approximately 50 inhabitants,” according to a tourist website for the federal government of the Pitcairn Islands, which charters the ship.

Matthew Mulligan and Yasmine Salam contributed.

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