An Australian man was rescued off the country’s north coast on Wednesday after surviving nearly 24 hours in shark- and crocodile-infested waters by clinging to a piece of wood.
The Queensland man, who has not been identified, was discovered by an air rescue team in the rough waters of the Torres Strait, just over a mile from his boat upstream, it has been reported . the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The man had left Getullai Island on Tuesday and did not reach his destination in time. The search for the rescue plane that evening was unsuccessful, but resumed the next morning with a helicopter and police boat joining.
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AMSA, which released photographs of the man’s overturned boat and a harrowing rescue, said “the overturned boat was located in the water and after a brief aerial search the missing person was found about two kilometers from the ship”.
AMSA said the man was lifted to safety after he found himself “holding on to some flotation”.
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The authority said the man was “very lucky” to have survived the ordeal.
Torres Strait, a region made up of 18 islands spread over an area of 48,000 square kilometres, is home to nearly 300 islands and a Torres Strait Indigenous population with connections to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Sharks are known as protectors of the reef in the region.
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This incident follows the rescue of three men in the Gulf of Mexico, who survived for more than a day after their fishing boat sank, despite being attacked by sharks that left deep cuts on their hands and leaving one of his life jackets chipped, according to CBS News.