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Anyone else remember that Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away?

It’s the one where he was stranded in a desert island for four years with only a volleyball, which he named Wilson, as his friend.

via GIPHY

Well, looks like the movie has come to life for a Singaporean man who was lost at sea for four days with only his watch and a life buoy to talk to.

A diving enthusiast, John Low (not Jho Low ok, guys) was on his way to Tioman Island last month when his boat ran out of fuel and sank in a sudden storm.

Picture Credit: John Low via Facebook

Managing to grab a life buoy before the boat sank, it became his close friend in the 80-hour ordeal. To keep his sanity intact, John kept talking to the life buoy he named “Boy” and also his Rolex Mido Commander watch called “Brother”.

“When you are out in the sea alone, every object becomes your friend,” he told The Straits Times. “If you watched the movie Cast Away, what is shown in the movie is exactly what I experienced.”

via GIPHY

Staying sane wasn’t his only challenge though, 40 hours after sinking he had to take off his clothes because it was too painful against his badly sunburnt skin.

When he tried to cool down by putting his body underwater, it was an excruciatingly painful experience and his skin would peel off.

John in the hospital after he was rescued
Picture Credit: John Low via Facebook

Floating naked in the sea, he could feel fishes rubbing and biting his body, but he couldn’t see them or do anything about it. Plus he was exhausted from constantly vomiting after drinking seawater to stay hydrated.


“When I put my face in the water, it’s like 1,000 needles poking my face. So it’s either I face the pain in the sun or the pain in the water.”

John Low via Business Insider Singapore

Just as he was about to give up on the fourth day, a passing ship spotted him in the water and rescued John.

When the ship’s crew found him, he was burnt to the colour of coffee, arms were stuck to “Boy” and there was no more skin from his armpits to elbows.

The 60-year old man was then airlifted home by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

Thankfully, he has recovered from the life-threatening experience after spending a week in ICU at Singapore General hospital.

Picture Credit: John Low via Facebook

Unfortunately, we have no idea what happened to “Boy” and “Brother”. It appears that John may have had to “wave” them goodbye.

Lonely and forgotten… maybe

Moral of the story:

1. Don’t drink seawater because it will dehydrate you faster.

2. Learn to make new friends even when you’re all alone in a life-threatening situation.

(Drifting in South China Sea for 80 hours, Singapore diving enthusiast stayed sane by talking to his watch and life buoy)
(‘It’s like 1,000 needles poking your face’: Singapore man stranded at sea was so sunburnt that it hurt to touch sea water)
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