Man Survives 18 Hours Adrift at Sea by Clinging to Half-Deflated Soccer Ball

A 30-year-old North Macedonian man is alive today, thanks to a small soccer ball that children 80 miles away had lost ten days earlier.

Some time earlier this month, a man known only as “Ivan” was vacationing with friends near Kassandra, Greece. They were enjoying time on the beach when a strong current swept three people, including Ivan, far out to sea. Ivan’s friends alerted authorities, who immediately sprang into action, but despite a thorough search, no one could find him.

Meanwhile, Ivan found himself lost at sea with little hope of rescue when a small half-deflated kids soccer ball drifted right into his path. He grabbed hold of the ball and clung to it for dear life. Eighteen hours later, a helicopter from the Greek Air Force finally spotted him.

Ivan was taken to the hospital, where his father and even the local mayor were able to visit with him.

“I had constant information on the course of the rescue and am very happy about the smooth ending of the young man’s adventure,” Anastasia Chalkia, the mayor of Kassandra, wrote in a translated Facebook post. “The young man found a ball that saved his life as he helped him when he got tired.” (Read more from “Man Survives 18 Hours Adrift at Sea by Clinging to Half-Deflated Soccer Ball” HERE)

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