RSAF rescues man who drifted at sea for 3 days

Mr John Low meeting one of the rescuers, Captain (Dr) Joel Tan, on Friday - a month after he was lifted into a helicopter from a ship that had picked him up from the South China Sea.
Mr John Low meeting one of the rescuers, Captain (Dr) Joel Tan, on Friday - a month after he was lifted into a helicopter from a ship that had picked him up from the South China Sea.PHOTO: REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE AIR FORCE/FACEBOOK

A diving enthusiast drifted at sea for three days last month after a bout of bad weather sank his boat.

Mr John Low had no food and water, and was starting to hallucinate on the third day when a passing ship caught sight of him in the South China Sea and took him on board.

A Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) search-and-rescue team, Rescue 10, was scrambled on May 7 to pick him up from the ship and take him for emergency treatment.

On Friday, a month after the incident, Mr Low was reunited with his RSAF rescuers and was able to thank them for their help.

The RSAF shared Mr Low's story and the footage of his rescue on its Facebook page on Friday.

In the video, Mr Low said that on that fateful day, the weather became unpredictable and water began seeping into his boat. Eventually, his boat began to sink and strong currents pushed him out of the vessel.

"I was on a ring buoy and I floated all the way," he said.

The moment he was lifted from the ship and up to a Super Puma helicopter was captured on video.

"That was a brave act," Mr Low said to the Rescue 10 team, who visited him at his home.

 
 

"I remember there was excitement to hold on to me and constrain me so that you could check all my vitals. But it was very reassuring," he said to his rescuers.

"After struggling for three days, once I saw the ship, it was like 'I am saved, now I can sleep well'."

Many Facebook users praised the RSAF for the rescue.

User Eric Ng wrote: "Well done. Proud of all of you and appreciate your dedication and service."

Another user, Suh Ling, added: "Thank you for saving our dear friend. Kudos to the whole team."


Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 09, 2019, with the headline 'RSAF rescues man who drifted at sea for 3 days'. Print Edition | Subscribe