A German tourist managed to survive lost at sea after using his jeans as a makeshift lifejacket to keep him afloat until rescue arrived.
‘I was dragged next to the boat for one or two seconds down in the water, but then the rope got loose luckily, and I was floating in the water not wearing any life jacket. Just my t-shirt, my jeans, that was all,’ he told the publication.
German backpacker Arne Murke, 30, (pictured) managed to survive lost at sea after using his jeans as a makeshift life jacket to keep him afloat until rescue arrived
Murke, 30, and his brother Helge had been commissioned to sail a 12-metre yacht from Auckland to Brazil when he fell from the yacht 28km from Tolaga Bay (pictured) on March 6
Murke was knocked from the yacht when the boom suddenly swung and struck him off-balance.
His brother jumped to action but by the time he got a line and lifejacket into the water, the swell had put too much space between the two.
‘My brother started directly to get me but the swell was like three metres. He threw a life jacket with a rope overboard. I couldn’t reach that, it was already too far away. Then I think the motor exploded,’ he said.
In that life or death moment of panic, Murke said he was able to recall a survival tactic he had seen the US Navy Seals employ.
‘I took a deep breath, took out my jeans, made knots at the end of the legs and inflated the jeans; pull it over water and get air inside and then push it under water – I had like an improvised life vest,’ he said.
Murke would be left adrift for three hours until rescue and he said at times he thought about giving up but would tell himself he had to stay alive for his family and his daughter.
‘At that moment I was really doubting if they were going to come back for me. It took another 20 minutes but luckily I could see the helicopter again. They let down the rope and I was so glad,’ he said.
Murke said he wanted to thank everyone involved in saving his life but that he wouldn’t let the near death experience deter him from continuing his work on yachts.
Murke said he wanted to thank everyone involved in saving his life but that he wouldn’t let the near death experience deter him from continuing his work on yachts