"He was extremely weak and not quite coherent," said captain Marc Wellnitz, who was involved in the dramatic rescue of a 29-year-old man who had been stranded at sea for five days in a "pool toy" doughnut raft. In what Wellnitz recalls as a "surreal" experience, the crew of 57.6-metre Feadship yacht W spotted a hand waving at them from the water off the coast of northern Spain.
Wellnitz said: "The fact we spotted him was a miracle of its own" – especially considering the man was wearing a black wetsuit and his raft was also black. The crew "physically lifted him from the water" and, once he was on board the yacht, they treated him for sunburn, open wounds from the saltwater and suspected early-onset hypothermia. They then contacted the coastguard and a helicopter was sent to airlift the man to the hospital.
Wellnitz suspected the man, thought to be a Moroccan national, jumped from a passing ship en route to Spain before attempting to swim to shore. "Anybody wearing a wetsuit [has made] a planned move to be in the water," he said.Read More/Crew of 58m Feadship W rescues man stranded at sea for five days