Man Gets Lost At Sea For Hours, Survives By Turning Jeans Into A Life-Jacket

For a lot of good swimmers, swimming at sea can be pretty challenging. With heavy waves trying to push and pull you in various directions, sometimes it even gets difficult to remain afloat. Which is why even the best swimmers are scared of accidents which can leave them stranded.

So imagine the horror of this German tourist who got lost at sea after a boat knocked him over into the water!

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The tourist, identified as Arne Murke, was delivering a yacht along with his brother from Auckland to Brazil when they suddenly hit very rough conditions at sea.

According to sources, a loose mainsheet caused the boom of the boat to suddenly swing, knock Arne overboard, and wrap a rope around his arm.

“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”, said Arne.

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Since his brother got too far away to save him from the boat, the motor of which soon exploded, Arne quickly thought of an idea to stay afloat.

He made a makeshift life-jacket out of his jeans. He tied knots at the end of the legs and inflated it by putting it over water to get some air inside. This technique is usually taught to Navy Seals.

“I saw it many years ago and I always thought if I ever go overboard without a life jacket I’m going to do that,” he said.

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But Arne had to reinflate the jeans to stay afloat as time was passing by with no signs of help.


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The cold water made it difficult to survive for long, but Arne remained motivated by thinking of his 10-month old daughter.

After nearly four hours, a rescue helicopter came to his aid and Arne was pulled out of sea.

Sea Rescue

Imagine being stuck in the middle of the ocean for two hours without any idea if you will be saved with 2.5 metre swells pushing you from side to side? Well that is what our Rescue Crew attended yesterday. 20 nm off Tolaga Bay, a man had gone overboard from a yacht and through the quick response from our team and other rescue services, we were able to find him. He is so incredibly lucky to be alive.

Posted by Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service on Wednesday, March 6, 2019

“Luckily, I knew the trick with the jeans. Without the jeans I wouldn’t be here today, they were really the thing that saved me”, he said.

It’s brilliant how he came up with the idea at such a panicky moment! Jeans for the win!

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