Stig Lundvall, a Swedish sailing enthusiast, was rescued on Tuesday by the crew of the Greek flagged ship Proteus, after he had been stuck at sea for over 11 weeks without a functioning mast.
“We have had brief contact with him and he is glad to be alive,” said Lundvall’s friend Per-Lennart Berg to the Expressen newspaper.
Lundvall was sailing far off the coast of South Africa in the Indian Ocean, and was left drifting after extreme weather snapped his mast.
Lundvall managed to alert the passing Greek ship, catching the attention of the crew with the last of his flare rockets.
“Stig Lundvall has explained to the captain of the Proteus of how he shot his very last flare when Proteus was roughly one nautical mile’s distance (1,852 metres) from him,” said Danny Jenni of the South African Sea Rescue to the paper.
“As luck would have it, it was the perfect time of the day, but it was the very last of the flare’s light that they saw on aboard the Proteus, and then it became dark again,” he said.
Lundvall was rescued just over 400 kilometres off Richard’s Bay, a coastal town in the east of South Africa.