Ocean Rescue


Story Details

It's the happiest of home comings that for a long time seemed impossible.

Brett Archibald thanks god he's alive even if he doesn't believe in him.

“I’m so happy I’m alive I can't tell you boys - I cannot tell you, honestly I wrote it off eight times.” Said Brett

It was just after 3am - when on route to a favourite surfing location off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia - Brett's not well, in fact - he's dreadfully seasick. Leaning over the side of the boat, when....

“I must have blacked out because even if you're falling you know you are falling I didn’t know I was falling. I woke up and I thought my room-mate was pouring water on me to go for a surf - and then I saw this tender and the boat - I went I’m $#*!ed nobody saw that....” Said Brett

What started out as a surfing trip with mates. In a split second became a fight for survival. With no life jacket or raft and hours before anyone knew he'd fallen overboard ... to keep afloat he would tread water for five minutes then paddle for the next five ..but that was the least of his problems.

Mother nature pushed Brett to his limits but also kept him alive....the water temperature of 29 degrees meant there was no hypothermia but its currents pulled him away from shore. Brett says he saw land 5 times. Exhausted - some survivors say never say die but Brett freely admits he gave up 8 times .... 27 hours had passed....he had lost hope.

“I was just so tired - enough is enough and anyone who says drowning is a nice way to go it’s not its $#ing horrendous - its horrendous. - night was coming and I thought $# I can't make it through the night.” Said Brett

After more than a day at sea Brett Archibald's fortune would change in spectacular fashion...thanks to the most unlikely of heroes - a bunch of knock about blokes from down under....who gave up their surfing trip to search for a drop in the ocean...they simply refused to give up.

This is our last day today , and we'd pulled in to port to get clearance - yesterday morning, and near us was a boat, happened to be your boat - few of our crew went in to get clearance and the harbour master - happened in conversation to mention - mentioned did you know that some tourist- went overboard.

It was the Sydney owned 'barrenjoey' that came to his rescue and if the Aussie boat had followed instructions Brett may never have been found.

Returning to his home in Cape town South Africa was never going to be without fanfare.

“Best day of my life - the best day there are no words.” Said Wife Anita

His wife Anita summed it up best.

“What are you guys looking forward to doing over the next couple of days?” Asked Reporter

“Catching up eating lots of yummy foods - drinking some crispy white and having a laugh and celebrating being today and alive WILL YOU EVEN LET HIM DO THIS AGAIN yeah but I’m going to dart him first put a chip in his spin so he'll never be able to go outside of satellite range again - ill pick him up wherever he is.” Said Anita

Much closer to home and it's the lucky escape for David Burger - lost at sea for ten hours off the Gold coast - that was captured on helmet cam....

“Brilliant bunch of guys and I pretty much owe my life to them...” Said Dave

Wild conditions had capsized the trawler Dave and his best mate Gavin Kelly were on.....by sheer luck when the boat overturned Dave was caught in a pocket of air....he managed to break free as the trawler sank....

“The whole time I was out there I was just thinking about Gav, and hoped he made it out alive and who as going to pick me up...” Said Dave Burger

He would never see his mate again.... A rescue raft had floated to the surface and he climbed in and hope someone would come...

“When I found my wallet and seen my wife and kids I just thought life is too short I got to get out of here...I’m not one to give up easy so...” Said Dave Burger

So imagine his relief when the AGL rescue chopper was hovering above..... It's been two months since his rescue and this afternoon Dave got to say thank you to the crew that saved his life.

For a guy with 30 years of experience at sea ...we shouldn’t be surprised its back to business for Dave.

“I’ve found another job and I’m back on the ocean much to my wife’s disappointment - I’m not going toilet the ocean beat me once you’ve got the salt in your veins you're stuck for life the ocean keeps calling you- like a magnet.” Said Dave