Navy SEAL Trick Saves Man’s Life Off New Zealand Coast

 In Foreign

Sometimes learning new things is can be lifesaving. Arne Murke, a German tourist, used a ‘Navy SEAL’ method he learned about, to survive in the ocean off the New Zealand coast after being knocked off a sailboat.

On March 6, Arne Murke, 30, and his brother were set to deliver a 40 foot yacht to a client in Brazil. About 20 miles off New Zealand’s coast at Tolaga Bay, they hit severe weather.

The main sheet of the yacht came loose and the boom knocked Arne off the boat into the ocean. He was only wearing a t-shirt and jeans. But the ocean swells were raging at over 9 feet (around 3 meters) and he quickly was carried away from the boat.

“My brother started directly to get me but the swell was like three meters. He threw a life jacket with a rope overboard. I couldn’t reach that, it was already too far away.” Arne Murke to the
New Zealand Herald

As the ocean waves carried him away from the boat, he decided to use a technique he had heard about years before.

“I took a deep breath, took out my jeans, made knots at the end of the legs and inflated the jeans; pull it over water and get air inside and then push it under water — I had like an improvised life vest…
Luckily, I knew the trick with the jeans. Without the jeans I wouldn’t be here today, they were really the thing that saved me.” Arne Murke

After 4 hours of being adrift in the ocean, a helicopter from the
New Zealand Coastguard and Royal New Zealand Air Force located him and commenced the rescue. The Lowe Corporation Rescue Service posted the rescue here:

The rescue service stated he was lucky to be alive.

Conflicting reports said he was in the water for 4 hours and the rescue service mentioned 2 hours. Regardless, the ocean contains many hazards in addition to the possibility of drowning: sharks, for example. Thank goodness for jeans that had no holes.

Featured photo: Screenshot from video of rescue

Showing 2 comments
  • Patrick

    I learned this in the Marines in Jungle Operation training Center Panama. It works!!!!

  • Al

    I learned this when I was in Swim class at the age of 10, almost 50 years ago. it was part of our 1 hr float test we had to do to get our swim certificate that year.

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