The crew of a Mediterranean Shipping Company vessel rescued a surfer six kilometers (three nautical miles) from shore in Australia on Friday.
The stranded surfer was spotted by the crew of the MSC Damla early on Friday morning, after he had survived a night at sea.
Despite choppy sea conditions, the crew were able to quickly and successfully dispatch a lifebuoy from the vessel and bring the 37-year-old Japanese tourist on board. He was then immediately given dry clothes and food, and wrapped in blankets until a pilot vessel from Port Kembla, New South Wales, was able to reach the ship and return the man to shore.
Kevin Clarke, Managing Director for MSC Australia, said of the rescue: “Naturally, our crew are always being observant of marine traffic, but it is exceptionally fortunate they were able to spot this man waving for help from his surf board.
“News of the rescue has made us all at MSC extremely proud of the crew, and we are delighted that their quick-thinking actions resulted in the surfer being recovered so quickly.”
The man was in "remarkably good spirits" and had no health issues after his ordeal.
Local media reports indicate that a search for the man had not been initiated as he drifted off alone, and no one raised the alarm that he was missing.
MSC Damla is currently at anchorage just outside of Sydney. The vessel was built in 2002 and has a capacity of 6,400 TEU. It was under the command of Captain Sandeep Singh, who has worked for MSC since 2005.