Vidam Perevertilov, a sailor, had a horrific experience after he fell off a cargo ship into the Pacific Ocean on February 16 and spent 14 hours in the water. Marat, his son, said that his father survived by clinging to a "piece of sea rubbish". Vidam is the Lithuanian chief engineer of the Silver Supporter.
Soon after he found himself struggling to survive in the water, Vidam, 52, swam towards a "black dot" kilometres away. Vidam discovered that the "black dot" was a fishing buoy and he held onto it until he was rescued, BBC reports.
While describing the incident, Marat said that his father felt "hot and dizzy" after a shift in the engine room pumping fuel in the cargo ship. Thereafter, Vidam walked out onto the deck to recover at around 4 in the morning before falling into the water. The ship sailed away since it did not realise that Vidam had fallen overboard.
"He looked about 20 years older and very tired but he was alive," Marat told New Zealand news site Stuff, BBC reports.
Till sunrise, Vidam stayed afloat and swam towards the "black dot" after he noticed it. "It was not anchored to anything or a boat, it was just a piece of sea rubbish," Marat added. After around six hours, the ship crew realised that their engineer was missing, and turned the ship around.
BBC, citing media reports, states that the crew determined Vidam's location by checking his work logs. As distress messages were sent, French navy aircraft joined the search from Tahiti while France's meteorological service studied the winds to calculate possible drift patterns. However, Vidam's ship eventually located him.
Vidam spotted the ship at a distance and called out as the passengers noticed. The ship approached Vidam and pulled the sailor to safety on board.
"His will to survive was strong. I probably would have drowned straight away, but he always kept himself fit and healthy and that's why I think he could survive," Marat said.