Soccer ball

Tourist survives 18 hours at sea clinging to soccer ball

Photos by Mayor of Kassandra, Anastasia Chalkia/Facebook

Strong currents swept a 30-year-old man out to sea while on vacation at the beach, but reminiscent of the movie Castaway, he now has a football to thank for his survival.

The Macedonian man spent 18 hours holding the partially deflated leather balloon in the Aegean before being rescued 15 miles away.

Although he is a good swimmer, Ivan was starting to get tired when his luck ran out, and the rainbow-colored ball came floating towards him, Serbian news site Telegraf reports.

When news broke about real-life Ivan “Wilson!” experience, two Greek children reported that the colorful ball had ended up in the sea 10 days earlier while playing football on the island of Lemnos, 80 miles away.

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Ivan was spotted by a Greek Air Force helicopter involved in the search party which was also looking for Ivan’s friend, who has not been found, according to Global News.

Kassandra Mayor Anastasia Chalkia shared a photo posing with the ball alongside Ivan’s father outside a hospital in the Northern Peninsula Municipality.

“I had constant information on the progress of the rescue and I am very happy with the smooth progress of the adventure of the young man.”

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