Man survives hours lost at sea off New Zealand after turning jeans into flotation device

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A tourist from Germany survived being knocked overboard and left adrift for hours on the open water off the coast of New Zealand last week — all thanks to his jeans.

Arne Murke was delivering a yacht with his brother from Auckland, New Zealand to Brazil when they ended up sailing through rough seas about 20 miles off Tolaga Bay on March 6.

The 40-foot yacht’s mainsheet suddenly came loose amid the rough swells and knocked Murke overboard while he was only wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

“My brother started directly to get me but the swell was like three meters,” he told the New Zealand Herald. “He threw a life jacket with a rope overboard. I couldn’t reach that, it was already too far away.”

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After being unable to reach the life jacket, the 30-year-old said he quickly decided to turn his jeans into a flotation device, a technique that’s used by lifesavers including U.S. Navy SEALs, Scouting groups and more. – MORE

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