A man trying to become the youngest person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a handmade boat had to be rescued by a cruise ship after it capsized.
Tom Robinson, 24, from Brisbane, Australia, began his 8,000-mile journey in his boat ‘Maiwar’ from the coast of Peru in July last year and was due to arrive in Cairns in December.
But a statement on his website said an “unexpectedly large wave… came through the main hatch and flooded the cabin” on Thursday.
This caused him to activate his distress alarm, which saw a French plane take off from Noumea in New Caledonia, eventually locating him around 100 nautical miles southwest of Luganville, Vanuatu.
After the plane found him, a P&O cruise ship made a detour to save him, finding him naked on top of the upside-down vessel.
The statement read: “In the dark, the plane spotted Tom who was standing on the upside-down hull of Maiwar.
“Subsequently a cruise ship, Pacific Explorer, made a detour from its planned course to pick up a naked Mahuta [Tom] who climbed a rope ladder to reach the deck.”
The statement confirmed he was given medical treatment but “sounded well” in a phone call to his family 13 hours after the rescue.
It added: “Our sincere thanks go to the Australian, New Caledonian and Vanuatuan authorities who all had important roles to play in his rescue; and to the captain and crew of Pacific Explorer who literally went out of their way to pick up Tom.”