A man swam for over five hours in rough sea to get help for his partner. The 45-year-old had previously managed to get his 39-yea-old girl friend in the safety of a beach cave after their boat overturned off the south coast of Heraklio, Crete, over the weekend.
The couple had rented a boat and sailed in the sea last Saturday. When they failed to return in scheduled time in the afternoon, the company owner informed authorities and a Search and Rescue operation was launched. Without success.
On Sunday, though, the man arrived swimming at the Koudouma Monastery and sought for help for his partner.
He had made use of the temporary weather improvement and jumped into the sea to get help, leaving the partner behind.
Wearing just his swimming pants, he swam and swam and when he arrived at the canteen of the Monastery the first thing he heard was “‘to wear something appropriate and show respect to the Monastery.”
So make the long story short, the exhausted man emptied a bottle of water and told his story.
The coast guard was informed and the partner was brought to safety some hours later.
They were both taken with an ambulance to the health center of the area where doctors diagnosed dehydration.
Later they were transferred to a hospital in Heraklio. The woman is being treated in the general clinic and the man in the Pulmonary Department because he had drank a lot of sea water.
Their health condition is not considered to be in danger.
The man from Messara is reportedly a helicopter pilot permanently living in Germany. His partner is German.
The brave swimmer told a relative that they did not realize how the boat capsized and the cave was not far away form the point where the accident happened.
“They swam in such a way that the waves did not hit their faces, they had visibility and fortunately they succeeded,” the relative told newspaper Patris adding that he does not rule out the survivor knew the cave.”:
“I do not know if my relative knew about this cave, but I do not rule it out,” said the 45-year-old relative.
Citing sources from the Coast Guard, local news website cretapost notes that the last GPS signal from the boat was located a few nautical miles off the Koudouma Monastery beach and off the area where the two survivors had found the cave.
Monks of the Monastery give a slightly different version of the story saying that they found the man laying on the beach and they speak of a “double miracle” of Virgin Mary to which the monastery is dedicated.