A sudden maneuver and this sailor found himself in the water, off the New Zealand coast of Gisborne. His name is Arne Murke, a 30-year-old German who was moving a sailboat with his brother from New Zealand to Brazil. At first, he had his arm caught under the hull, then he couldn’t reach the life jacket his brother had launched: the current and the three-meter waves dragged him away. At this point, he remembered a technique that he had seen some time before and that probably saved his life.
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Murke didn’t lose heart and remembered a technique used by the Navy Seals, the American special forces. He knotted the ends of his jeans and inflated them, turning them into a life jacket. He told the New Zealand Herald: “I saw him do it a long time ago and I always thought: if I ever end up outboard without a lifejacket I will.
Meanwhile, Arne’s brother alerted the rescue services and a Hawke’s Bay Rescue helicopter managed to locate and retrieve him, three hours after he had fallen into the water. Murke’s ploy kept him afloat, avoiding his efforts and the risk of letting go of his exhaustion: “I was underwater and I thought … do it for your daughter! Hang in there,” she said.
The German said he was scared, but that he will not stop sailing. Experience has taught him to pay more attention and certainly, in the next long sailings.