A British kayaker wearing only swimming trunks has been found clinging to a buoy in the middle of the English Channel after his inflatable kayak capsized.
The man, who was wearing only swimming trunks, claims to have set out from Dover heading for France.
He was found by a Dutch fishing crew, clinging to a buoy halfway been England and France, where he had apparently been for about 48 hours.
The unnamed castaway was hauled to safety by the crew of De Madelaine after being spotted by the captain, Teunis de Boer, as they were sailing between England and France, according to De Telegraaf.
Mr De Boer noticed him “waving like a madman” after a “disappointing” morning’s fishing.
The crew immediately threw the man a lifebuoy and hauled him aboard.
According to a Facebook post by de Boer, the man had severe hypothermia – his temperature was 26C – dehydration and was covered in bruises. He said that it was a miracle he was alive.
Once he was on board they wrapped him in blankets and gave him a Snickers bar.
The crew contacted the French coastguard, who sent a helicopter which took the man to hospital in Boulogne.
The French coastguard told Sky News: “This morning, very early in the morning, a fishing vessel reported that a man in his thirties seemed to have taken refuge on the Colbart Nord buoy, located in the middle of the traffic of Pas de Calais. The fishing vessel rescued the shipwrecked person and picked him up on board. This man had left the British coast about 48 hours earlier, to try to cross the Channel on an inflatable kayak. The castaway is conscious, but his state of health requires rapid treatment.”
The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and crossings in small boats are particularly perilous.