Todd Vercoe slogged for three hours through rough seas, thunderstorms, lightning and the threat of sharks.
When he finally reached land he etched “SOS” in the sand with his foot in the hope rescuers would see his plea for help.
It might sound like a scene from a castaway movie but the life-threatening experience was real for the keen sailor, who thought he might not survive the exhausting swim off Northland’s coast on Saturday.
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