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Man Survives Being Lost At Sea For 29 Hours With No Boat Or Flotation Device

Daily Mail / Today

For some people, the thought of being lost at sea and discovering a deserted island is exciting. But like everything that first gives off a jolt of adrenaline, the excitement wears off eventually.

For the most part, none of us truly want the Cast Away kind of situation, but some people have had some variations of it and survived to tell the tale.

Being thrown off a boat or somehow forgotten is not something that happens often, but to those it has, it's a tale they wish they never had the chance to tell.

The strangest part about these stories isn't the fact that they had to tread water for hours to survive, it's the scary thoughts that they had to wrestle with in their minds.

In April 2013, a then-50-year-old South African father-of-two, survived an "odyssey of survival" that required him to battle with not only marine animals, but also the thoughts in his head.

Brett Archibald was on a charter boat in the Indian Ocean while on a surfing trip with friends near Indonesia.

Brett Archibald (pictured top left).Daily Mail

One stormy night, he and his friends got food poisoning. They went over to the side of the boat and vomited, but Archibald felt so dizzy that he fell overboard without anyone noticing.

He told TODAY that he knew that he was going to die. He calculated that it would be at least seven hours until his friends realized he was missing, and another seven hours until they would be able to return to the location that he fell out the boat.

"I lifted my head and just realized, 'You're never going to catch a boat.' And (I) just knew it was over."

Archibald recalled that he started to talk to God.

"The first conversations were very anger-driven. I can't even use the profanities that I used in that ocean," he said. "And then they evolved to reassessing my life. I reflected, I hadn't been a good person. I thought I was a great father and husband, but when I was faced with reality, I hadn't been."

Then he started reciting cell phone contacts and singing Elton John songs while swimming to keep his mind off of the situation he was in, but soon after he felt dehydrated, his body cramped and was covered in jellyfish stings.

"It was like a rainbow with no color coming out the sea, but then it was the Virgin Mary,'' he remembered of his hallucination. "It was bizarre. I knew it wasn't real."

He saw a charter boat in the distance, but they sailed away, but then something he hoped he would never encounter sailed towards him.

"I just lost it. I screamed at the world. I screamed at life."

The blacktip reef shark he saw looked like a big red bus, but luckily it lost interest and swam away.

"So I said all my goodbyes, swam down. I remember lying on my back and just going, 'Okay, just breathe.' And I just took a huge breath."

As he choked on water, with his last ounce of energy he went back to the surface after noticing a medic boat.

An Australian skipper had a hunch about Archibald's whereabouts, and saved him almost 29 hours after he fell overboard. A medic believed Archibald, who lost 13 pounds, had only an hour to live if he was not rescued.

Do you think you could survive lost at sea as long as Archibald did? Let us know!

[Source: TODAY]

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at