The surfer lost at sea for 28 hours


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In April 2013 Brett Archibald was on a surfing trip with his mates when, while sailing from Sumatra to the Mentawai islands in Indonesia, he fell overboard. It was 2am – and no-one noticed Brett was missing until eight hours later. His story is one of ultimate survival, and his rescue – 28 hours later – is all credit to someone who’s spent many, many years at sea. This is their story:

Brett Archibald was lost at sea and forced to swim for over 
28 hours. He encountered a shark attack, hordes of poisonous jellyfish and taunting hallucinations. He tried to kill himself but his mind wouldn’t let him.

“I’m dead,” thought the 50-year-old father of two as his legs kicked frantically in the water. It was 2am in Indonesia, and Brett Archibald found himself in the midst of an ocean churned by a tropical thunderstorm as his boat, the Naga Laut, disappeared into the darkness and left him screaming with rain drumming down 
on his head. A moment earlier, he’d been retching over the side of the boat – delirious and dehydrated from a feverish blend of food poisoning and seasickness. He and eight childhood friends were sailing from the mainland to the Mentawai Islands – a chain of 
70 shards of the earth’s crust that cause currents to rise and curl into the best waves to surf on the planet. He tried to tread water but the waves smothered him. So, on that sunless morning off the coast of Sumatra, Archibald started 
to swim. Had he known he would only stop swimming 28 hours later, he might never have started. “I never swam to 
get anywhere; I swam to keep my head above water,” he says.

To read the rest of the story, which was published on the Men’s Health website, please click here.


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