Stricken skipper Erhan Seckal was found frantically waving his arms after falling overboard off the coast of Bali, Indonesia and says he can’t remember how it happened
A captain who disappeared mid-voyage was rescued after spending nearly three days adrift at sea when he fell from his ship.
Erhan Seckal, 39, was guiding the vessel Quorn earlier this month after it departed from an Australian port towards Vietnam.
He suddenly vanished and his stunned crew couldn’t find him anywhere, hunting high and low for hours with the ship off the coast of Bali, Indonesia.
The Turkish seaman had fallen overboard while in rough waters and a huge rescue mission was launched on May 2.
Indonesian service teams searched the area 30 miles north of Bali, but found no sign of the captain so the bulk carrier was forced to resume its trip without him.
However, 66 hours later, local fisherman Gede Budiasa spotted the skipper and he was miraculously alive, frantically waving for help while floating on a buoy near Kubutambahan village in the Buleleng Regency.
The locals hauled him onto shore and rushed him to a nearby medical centre as he was severely dehydrated and exhausted.
Seckal said he did not remember how he fell overboard, saying he had been checking the ship’s stern before waking up to find himself stranded in the ocean.
Jamaruli Manihuruk, Head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Bali, said: “The person concerned was stranded on the beach of Kubuaddan Village, Kubuaddan District, Buleleng Regency, Bali.
“After the examination and medical treatment, the foreigner was taken to the Immigration office for questioning.”
The Turkish man was nursed back to health, but was ordered deported to Istanbul once recovered.
Singaraja Immigration Office Head Nanag Mustofa said: “He was sent home because he technically entered Indonesian territory without proper documents or stay permits.”
The captain left for Istanbul on the evening of May 10.
The Turkish Embassy has expressed its gratitude to local authorities for rescuing him, and for arranging for his flight home.