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Swedish yachtsman rescued after 80-day drift

April 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 18 (UPI) -- A Swedish yachtsman on a solo cruise in the Indian Ocean was picked up by a freighter 250 miles off the South African coast 80 days after his mast broke.

A friend of Stig Lundvall described the rescue Tuesday to the Expressen newspaper, The Local reported. Per-Lennart Berg said Lundvall told him he is "glad to be alive" during a brief exchange.

Lundvall said he had been drifting since the mast snapped in a storm, Danny Jenni of South African Sea Rescue, told Expressen. When he saw the Greed freighter, the Proteus, he set off his last flare when it was about a mile away.

"As luck would have it, it was the perfect time of the day, but it was the very last of the flare's light that they saw on aboard the Proteus, and then it became dark again," Jenni said.

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