Man falls off yacht while urinating, swims three hours to safety


A New Zealand sailor swam for three hours in rough seas after being swept overboard while urinating from a yacht on Saturday.

Todd Vercoe, 36, swam to shore in Kaituna Bay and signaled a rescue helicopter using a SOS sign etched in the sand.

The New Zealand Herald reports Vercoe is a house painter from Langs Beach, New Zealand, and was relieving himself off the back of the yacht about 5 miles offshore.

"That's when I fell in,” Vercoe told the newspaper. “I was yelling and screaming as soon as I hit the water. But there was no way they could hear me over the motor and they were both in the cabin below deck."

Vercoe says he breaststroked and swam through a thunderstorm in waters known to be home to sharks.

Eventually he reached the shore of Kaituna Bay and used his foot to write “SOS” in the sand. His plea for help was seen by a rescue helicopter.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Vercoe was hypothermic and flown to a hospital. He also had a small cut on his foot but was otherwise OK.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Police: Minnesota man arrested for threatening Social Security employees
Police: Minnesota man arrested for threatening Social Security employees

A Minnesota man was arrested Wednesday after threatening employees at a Social Security office, KAAL reported. >> Read more trending news According to Capt. John Sherwin of the Rochester Police Department, Leonard Booth, 26, walked into the Social Security office at 10:15 a.m. and complained that he was unable to receive benefits. Booth...
Dozens of crawdads crawl through New Mexico neighborhood
Dozens of crawdads crawl through New Mexico neighborhood

New Mexico residents were surprised Thursday morning to see dozens of crawdads walking down an Albuquerque street, KRQE reported. >> Read more trending news As Albert Valdez left his home on a stormy morning, he observed a strange scene at the end of his driveway. “As I got out of my truck, there was a crawdad walking down the middle of...
Michigan teen charged with embezzling thousands from Kroger store
Michigan teen charged with embezzling thousands from Kroger store

A Michigan teenager was charged with embezzlement after police said she stole thousands of dollars from a Kroger store, WTVG reported. >> Read more trending news According to a news release from Dundee village manager Dave Uhl, 18-year-old Chenoa Nestor worked at a Kroger in the town. Documents show that Kroger’s management discovered that...
Oklahoma man cleans Tulsa streets to ‘right his wrongs’
Oklahoma man cleans Tulsa streets to ‘right his wrongs’

A homeless man in Oklahoma is cleaning the streets of Tulsa in order to “right his wrongs,” according to police. >> Read more trending news Officer Popsey Floyd posted the story about Brian Freeman, aka Cleaner, on his Facebook page Wednesday. Floyd said that officers observed a line of trash bags on a Tulsa street and tracked down...
AMA calls skinny repeal toxic
AMA calls skinny repeal toxic

The American Medical Association, the biggest organization representing U.S. doctors, blasted a “skinny repeal” option unveiled in the U.S. Senate Thursday night. “Action is needed to address problems in the individual insurance market, but the so-called ‘skinny’ bill is a toxic prescription that would make matters worse...
More Stories