How This Motivational Speaker Survived 28 Hours At Sea
Few speakers have faced adversity quite like Brett Archibald. Lost at sea, he came head to head with sharks, seagulls and even his sanity, to survive for 28 hours before his rescue. Now, Brett uses his story of determination in the face of death to inspire audiences across the world, a testament to his bravery and strength. He took a life-defining experience, and turned it into a vehicle for transformative change, as an inspiring motivational speaker.
Who is Brett Archibald?
Businessman turned ocean survivor and motivational speaker, Brett has led a life unlike any other. He was born in South Africa, and studied at the Natal University, before becoming a Director at RCI Southern Africa. Upon moving to London, where Brett was appointed Group Managing Director of RCI EMEAI, he worked with business leaders from Hong Kong and beyond. In his spare time, Brett was a keen surfer, but this lifelong passion would ultimately lead him into deep waters, and mark the start of his journey into motivational speaking.
Brett’s Story of Survival
In 2013, Brett was just a normal businessman heading off on a surfing holiday with eight of his school friends, to celebrate one of the group turning 50. The friends had chartered a boat and set sail into the Indian Ocean at 9 pm, but after more than 50 hours of travelling to get to their destination, the group were tired and struck by food poisoning and illness.
Brett went on deck to get some fresh air, but after being overcome by illness and vomiting violently, he passed out and fell overboard. As the boat and his friends sailed away, oblivious to his predicament, Brett was left stranded, and his battle for survival in stormy seas wearing just shorts and a t-shirt began.
Forgotten at Sea
A determination to live and be with his wife and two young children back home was the key attribute in Brett surviving this terrifying ordeal. He stated that he heard his wife screaming “swim, yer buggar, swim!” in his head, which made him fight to stay afloat despite the choppy waters, tiredness and dehydration that kicked in as time went on.
It was six hours before his friends realised that Brett was missing. Despite the Indonesian captain’s reluctance to turn round and search for him, the friends persuaded him and calculated a rough area to search in based on the currents at the time. They were joined by another boat in the area, carrying a group of Australians who were also celebrating a 50th birthday on board.
As Brett dealt with cramp, jellyfish stings, the visit of a blacktip reef shark and an attack from seagulls who attempted to peck out his eyes as he slept, both vessels searched the ocean and, at one stage, Brett’s friends came within just 150m of him treading water – but, despite his screams, they failed to spot him.
Brett’s Miraculous Rescue
With time ticking, it was an incredible 28 hours of keeping his head above water before Brett was finally rescued by the group of Australians. He spotted an island in the distance and used all of his remaining energy to swim in the right direction before he was spotted and dragged aboard.
In a truly inspirational story of surviving against the odds, Brett has released a book about his 28 hours in the open ocean. He has also taken to the motivational speaking circuit, enthralling audiences across the world with his survival story, which includes how he overcame the physical and mental hurdles thrown at him.
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