Link: Rower Ralph Tuijn saved after hitting a tanker
Rower Ralph Tuijn Saved After Hitting Tanker
An adventurer rowing from Australia to Africa has had to be rescued after his boat collided with a massive oil tanker.
Dutchman Ralph Tuijn was well into his 5,600 mile (9,000 km), 120-day journey from Western Australia when his boat was swamped after it hit the tanker.
He was rescued from the Indian Ocean early on Friday after sending a distress signal, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa).
"We have recovered him, he is currently on board the merchant vessel," an Amsa spokesman said.
"The master reported that he was injured but we're not sure of the full extent of his injuries just yet."
Ido Hurkmans, who spoke to Tuijn after the collision, said his friend saw the tanker when it was only 300 metres (1,000ft) away which was too late for him to avoid it.
"He was just on a collision course. So he was just like, 'OK I am going to die'," Hurkmans said. "Surviving a crash from a tanker in a small rowing boat is not very likely."
Tuijn, who was in a boat just seven metres (22ft) long, recalled that the tanker had dragged him along for a long time and overturned several times before he broke free.
His friend said he had suspected cracked ribs and a broken finger but was "back on his feet" on the merchant vessel that rescued him as it headed for Nigeria.
Australian authorities said the Dutchman was extremely lucky to have been picked up so soon from his remote location in the middle of the ocean.
"It's a pretty well-travelled stretch of water but often merchant vessels can be three or four days away and this one was only a couple of hours away," the spokesman said.
Tuijn, who has previously rowed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, left the Cocos Islands on May 5.
Another friend, Geoff Charters, insisted he would bounce back from the traumatic experience.
"He's a very experienced ocean rower and has dealt with a lot of different dangers on the ocean including lightning storms ... I think that was the worst," Mr Charters said.
"He's been attacked by sharks and had close encounters with tankers on the Pacific."