Shark Point: This is the appropriate name for the locals for the stretch of sea off the coast of Panama. The last place anyone would want to end up in the water. But there, John Deere fell off his boat on Wednesday. The Australian sold all of his possessions in 2019 to circumnavigate the world. The adventure of a lifetime, but the 30-hour flight from Colombia to Panama was off course: The boat’s autopilot was on, and the sails were up when he lost his balance while fishing and fell into the sea.
“I saw my boat sailing away, and I thought, ‘This is it, stop here, I’m going to die,'” he told Daily Mail Australia. “It happened so quickly. I put my foot in the wrong place and suddenly I was completely helpless in the water.” He started screaming. But he soon realized that swimming was the only option in his life. An hour later the sun had set, but his survival instinct made him swim all night. He remembered that the darkest plot of land is the closest. A trick he once caught somewhere.
Bites and scrapes
It seemed he was barely making any progress. “But I kept telling myself out loud that I was getting close. It would work, and I could do it.” Once he felt something explode in his foot. He started hitting in all directions and screaming, but continued to swim. “It was a fish that came to bite me. I am full of bites and scratches.”
Relief when he felt that the rocks were enormous, but he almost slipped. So he lay there for a while, afraid of dying from a stupid fall. He slept exhausted, but when the light worked he made a flag. A first boat passed by, a second saw it but it went away, and the third stopped and brought it back to civilization. But the ordeal did not end there. The police have already found his boat. sank. He is now stuck in Panama City with his clothes on, “not even slippers”.
He is waiting for a new passport and his friends have started a GoFundMe page to help him get back to Australia. “I lost everything I had,” he says. “I have to start over at home with a clean slate. But I have a crazy story to tell.”