17 November. The island of Mauritius. Ocean. Storm.
Video of Sergey Mysovskiy. On the shore lifeguards put a "red flag", which means that the exit to the water is not desirable. All the channels were blocked by large waves, which would not allow small boats to leave the reef. The gray sky was very gloomy. At 16 o'clock I arrived at the beach in Le Morne and judging the situation still decided to go on a kite near the shore. The wind was not strong and more southerly than usual. After pumping a 9 km kite I went to the "small reef" to ride in relative safety (from there you can swim to the shore if the wind turns off). The waves were chaotic in different places and the current was very strong. Catching a few of them I decided to stop by a bit, to catch something more interesting there. And then between the waves I saw the abandoned windsurfing. Approaching closer to the equipment, I realized that the mast was broken and the sail was torn. The idea came to my mind that someone threw equipment or took it from somewhere. I did not want to pull this equipment ashore, amid the falling three-meter-high walls of water. Thinking about all this, I was cut a little higher and then I saw the body ...
The man was lying on his back and his arms were not moving. A man of about 45 years of age and weighing around 90 kg. A line formed in my head: a windsurfing man, probably washed away and he lost his gear. I shouted at him and realized that he was already on the verge of losing consciousness. It's possible that when he fell, he injured his back, because he could not really move. He spoke English something not very clear and his speech was confused. From this I realized that he had been swimming there for more than an hour and that he had already surrendered.
After giving him my surfboard so that he could rely on him, I began to think about how best to do it. At first I thought to go ashore without him with a bodidrag (lying down) and call the rescuers. But pretending that leaving him alone in the ocean would be dangerous. On this day rescuers can not come and I decided to act myself. Nearby there was a man on a red and blue kite. Calling him I asked to contact the rescuers and call the boat if possible. I started sailing towards the shore holding a board with a man. With my left hand I ran a kite. It was hard for me to drag a man. Periodically we were approached by waves and falling divided us in different directions. I shouted to him that he struggled to hold the board. After the set, I swam to it and we again began to swim. The current during this time carried us back to the ocean. While all this was happening, the wind began to turn off and I saw that a few kites fell on the water near the shore. An unpleasant thought twisted in my head:
"What happens if the wind weakens completely?" The kite will fall and the two of us will be dragged into the ocean, and the rescuer does not work, and it's getting dark soon ... "
We sailed for about 40 minutes, but there were no rescuers. My left arm was so tired that I already pressed my chin to the bar so that there would be traction in the kite. My right hand holding the board was tense to the limit. And that's the moment when I see a small boat that circulates behind the reef - not daring to cross its border. The final moment in the last 50 meters on the wild chop was given the hardest. The boat swam up and two local guys threw us a lifebuoy and the man struggled to get into it.
He was glad that he was still alive.
I took my board and immediately went ashore. An ambulance had already passed there, and also some cars with sirens.
I packed my gear and go home. I was in a strange state - I was shaking.
Today (November 21) I had a meeting with a drowning windsurfer Rob. He is now not 45, but 53 years old. And his weight is 93, not 90. He is from the city of Antwerp, Belgium. Rob told how the whole story began. Rolling inside the reef, he saw waves and decided to turn around. At some point, he lost control and fell. He, along with the equipment, began to draw the current further from the shore to the ocean. A big wave came and the equipment was blown to the other side. He also had an asthma attack. He drifted on his back and waves fell on him. Well, then you know. After he was brought ashore - he was taken to a hospital to check for water in his lungs. He was in a state of shock.
But now all is well and everyone is alive.