For five desperate days, Canadian sailor Art Munneke was alone on his sinking yacht in the South Pacific seas and losing hope.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it; I thought for sure I was done,” he told 3 News in Auckland, New Zealand, after the rescue.
His 36-foot sailboat named L’Antillaise, severely damaged by a storm and nearly 700 miles from the nearest island, is now at the bottom and marked as a navigational hazard on nautical charts.
He left New Zealand on March 26, bound for home on Salt Spring Island, off British Columbia. He had sailed his sloop through rough weather before, but the storm he faced a week later was different. The winds kept getting stronger the rain hitting his small yacht grew harder and the waves were getting higher.
Then a crashing wave hit the sailboat and rolled it. Inside, Munneke was tossed around, suffering a gash over his left eye. Even worse, his boat was now taking on a steady flow of water.