S’porean diving instructor, 60, drifted in the sea for 4 days & lived to tell the story
Fortunately, he was rescued by a passing ship and Rescue 10.
Drifting alone and indefinitely in the open sea is no doubt a scary experience.
60-year-old Singaporean John Low’s anchored boat capsized after it was hit by a strong wave near Tioman island on May 4, 2019, The Straits Times reports.
Water seeped into the boat which eventually sank, leaving Low adrift with only a ring buoy and his backpack that he managed to grab in time.
Man drifted in the sea for 4 days 3 nights
For Low, a diving instructor, this was an unexpected turn of events from his leisure diving trip.
Initially, he was rather composed and confident of swimming back to shore, but strong waves pushed him away.
By around 10pm at night, he had lost sight of the shore and there was no boat around, which induced a certain level of panic.
However, he told himself that he had to persevere and stay alive for his family, although his limbs were starting to get weak by the second day.
It was not the lack of food and drink that was the worst, but other physical and mental sufferings that Low had to endure.
It got so much that he had to talk to inanimate objects like calling his ring buoy and Rolex “boy” and “brother” just to stay sane, wrote Business Insider.
He also described to Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao how he had to endure brutal sunburn, which felt like a thousand needles pricking his charred face.
In addition, being soaked in the water for long hours also resulted in his armpit skin sticking onto the ring buoy, which was unbearably painful.
Low also shared that he could feel marine animals biting on his submerged legs, but he was too exhausted to chase them off.
Here’s his interview with Zaobao:
Rescued by RSAF Rescue 10
In the evening of day four, Low was finally spotted by a passing ship “DIOGO CAO” in the South China Sea.
They got him aboard and informed the Singapore authorities.
When Low was rescued by the ship, he remembered thinking to himself before falling unconscious, “It was like, I’m saved. Now I can sleep well.”
The Rescue 10 from The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) responded to the call quickly to save Low on May 7.
Low described that he felt reassured to feel that someone is “kanchiong” for him, and also recalled how the unpredictable weather made the rescue mission challenging for the airmen.
You can watch the rescue in this video:
The team caught up with Low a month later, where Low expressed his immense gratitude for their act of bravery by giving each and every one of them a hug.
Low said to the Rescue 10 team:
“I hope there will be no one else for you to save but if you do, keep doing the same thing with your bravery.”
Low also shared that he gained a greater respect for the sea after this incident and will continue his favourite sport of diving.
Top photo collage from John Low’s Facebook