A sailor who fell into the Pacific Ocean and not using a life jacket survived by clinging to a “piece of sea rubbish” for hours earlier than he was rescued. Vidam Perevertilov spent 14 hours within the chilly water after he fell off the cargo ship Silver Supporter because the vessel made its routine provide run between New Zealand’s Tauranga port and Pitcairn Island, studies BBC. The incident occurred at about 4 AM on February 16.
After falling into the ocean, the 52-year-old noticed a small black dot within the horizon a number of kilometres away and commenced swimming in the direction of it – a choice that he credit with saving his life.
“He could see a black dot in the horizon still several kilometres away,” his son Marat advised information web site Stuff from Lithuania.
“He started swimming towards it. His will to survive was strong, but he told me until the sun came up he was struggling to stay afloat.
“I most likely would have drowned immediately, however he at all times stored himself match and wholesome and that is why I believe he may survive.”
Mr Perevertilov managed to reach the “black dot”, which turned out to be a fishing buoy, and held onto it until he was rescued hours later. “It was not anchored to something or a ship, it was only a piece of sea garbage,” said Marat of the fishing buoy.
It took six hours for the ship’s crew to notice that their chief engineer was missing. The captain turned the ship around and radioed for emergency upon realising that Mr Perevertilov was not on board. Meanwhile, the 52-year-old had been clinging to the buoy, exhausted.
“What occurred subsequent was practically inexplicable,” Marat said. “The Silver Supporter was working search patterns and one of many passengers mentioned he had heard a weak, human shout on the starboard aspect of the ship.”
Incredibly enough, a passenger on lookout managed to hear a faint noise – Mr Perevertilov calling for help. He was eventually pulled to safety.
British High Commissioner to New Zealand Laura Clarke, who also acts as Governor of Pitcairn Islands, told New Zealand Herald that rescuers were relieved at the happy ending.
“We all feared for the worst, given the sheer scale of the Pacific Ocean, and its robust currents,” she said.
“So the truth that the Silver Supporter discovered him, and he survived is simply superb: a narrative of survival that even Captain Bligh … would have applauded.”
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