Terrified and alone, drifting helplessly on a broken boat in huge seas, Glenn Ey believed his prospects were grim. Luckily, several hundred people suddenly turned up to save him.
Ey, 44, an Australian sailor stranded 270 miles offshore from Sydney, was rescued Wednesday when the passengers of Air Canada Boeing 777 flight spotted him bobbing in the ocean.
The jet, traveling from Vancouver to Sydney, had been diverted to the area by Australian maritime authorities, who hoped the crew and passengers might find Ey and relay his location.
An Air New Zealand flight later confirmed Ey’s position, and he was eventually rescued by a police boat.
A week ago, in a storm, Ey’s yacht flipped and his mast snapped, and he later ran out of fuel. Returning to shore safe but exhausted, he was emotionally reunited with his parents, and thanked his seafaring rescuers.
“These guys had been motoring flat-out [for] 12 or more hours to get to me,” he told Australia’s Daily Telegraph. “Huge seas. Strong winds. Difficult scenario. And they went to work.”
“I’ve tried to tell all of them they’ve been absolutely brilliant,” he added. “And I more than appreciate it.”
Now he just needs a passenger log from Air Canada to thank his airborne saviors, too.