Three German fishermen survived 13 harrowing hours in the chilly seas off Averøya on Norway’s northwest coast after their small rented fishing boat capsized in high waves. They all managed to cling to the overturned boat until they were finally rescued.
The drama began early Sunday morning, when they set off in a boat that capsized shortly afterwards, around 9:15am. They were well-dressed, with lifevests and wool garments under storm suits, but all were nonetheless badly chilled when they were finally found, just before darkness set in around 11pm.
Alarms rang when the fishermen failed to return their boat by the agreed time. A search and rescue mission was launched quickly with the emergency vessel Erik Bye, a Coast Guard vessel and a Sea King helicopter. The Erik Bye’s crew spotted them adrift and they were brought to land at Kristiansund, then sent to the local hospital.
“They were exhausted, badly chilled and had trouble moving,” Remi Storebø of the Erik Bye’s crew told news bureau NTB. “There were also hungry after sitting on the hull of the boat for 13 hours.” All three recovered overnight and were reunited with their rescuers on Monday, to express their gratitude.