5 Jan 2024

Fisherman describes 24-hour survival feat

From Morning Report, 8:16 am on 5 January 2024

A 61-year-old man from Cambridge has described how he spent almost 24 hours at sea, after a fishing trip gone wrong.

Will Fransen was thrown overboard while on a solo fishing trip, and wasn't rescued until the following day off the coast of Whangamatā.

Mr Fransen had lost his balance when trying to release a marlin that he'd caught. He didn't have a life-jacket, and depended on the bouyancy from his fishing harness while he endured an entire night in the water.

He was hypothermic, sunburnt, and failed several times to get the attention of boats passing by, before a trio of fisherman finally spotted him catching the light from the sun on his watch.

Will Fransen spoke to RNZ National.