A sailor who fell overboard from a container ship in the Pacific has been rescued after fourteen hours of floating around in a virtually hopeless situation.

The man had clung to a drifted lifebuoy until his own ship caught sight of him again.

The Silver Supporter was transporting goods from the port of the New Zealand city of Tauranga and one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, Pitcairn.

The incident took

place about 440 nautical miles south of the French Polynesia archipelago

, according to

BBC News


The 52-year-old man, chief engineer Vidam Perevertilov, had gone out in the engine room after a shift because he felt "hot and hazy".

That happened on the night of February 15 to 16 at 4 a.m.

While the man wanted to take a breath, he fell overboard in the darkness, Perevertilov says in conversation with the New Zealand medium


Partly for this reason, Perevertilov's colleagues did not notice that he was missing.

Only six hours later, the alarm would have been raised on the ship, because the chief engineer missed a poll.

The ship then turned around to the last known position of the ship while Perevertilov was still on board.

Also asked for help from ships in the area.

Sailor was not wearing a life jacket

The Lithuanian, who did not wear a life jacket, said he stayed above water with great difficulty until the sun rose.

Then he would have spotted rubbish at sea "a few kilometers", in the form of a "black dot".

The man reasoned that if he clung to it, he would stay above water more easily.

The waste turned out to be a drifting lifebuoy.

"The decision to swim there saved my life," said Perevertilov.

His son Marat tells


in a conversation

that his father seemed twenty years older due to exhaustion when he was found.

Perevertilov may have been floating around unconscious for some time.

According to his son, the man has no memory of the exact moment he fell overboard.