THE CAPTAIN of a large Singaporean cargo ship was found drifting at sea off the coast of southern Spain clinging to a life buoy in a ‘very serious state,’ police said Tuesday.
Passers-by in the port of Tarifa told officers Monday they had spotted a man in visibly poor condition drifting at sea in high winds and strong waves, according to a police statement.
Police rescued him and emergency services rushed him to hospital.
Wearing only a white shirt, the man was ‘gripping a rigid life buoy fitted with a beacon,’ police said.
‘He presented signs of extreme hypothermia, bloated lips, face and eyes, and swollen eyelids due to exposure to the sun and salty water,’ indicating he had been adrift for several hours, according to the police.
They added the man also had bruises.
The Spanish Interior Ministry praised the rescue on Twitter, describing the man’s state as ‘very serious.’
The ship, which according to specialised sites is a vehicle transport vessel, had alerted Spanish rescue services that a man ‘may have fallen overboard’, that morning, police said.
The vessel, named ‘Morning Ninni’ was sailing close to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta on the African coast.
Spanish authorities later confirmed that the rescued man was indeed the ship’s captain. He remains in serious condition, according to the police.