Two men drinking beers on an inflatable mattress off the coast of Western Australia became stranded at sea on Saturday when the wind picked up and dragged them two-and-a-half miles out into the Indian Ocean.
Jackson Perry and Noah Palmer were floating outside Palmer’s oceanside house in Mandurah, just south of Perth, with an Esky full of beers when they noticed they were drifting ever further from the shore. The two friends originally intended to hover about 50 metres from land—but soon found that the wind was pushing them several hundred, and then several thousand metres out.
“We couldn’t paddle against the wind and we just kept going further and further out,” Perry told Sunrise. “We only aimed to be 100 metres offshore, max, and before we knew it we were out to sea.
“All we knew is that [our friend] Tex was 30 to 40 minutes away, and we were just hoping he finds us because all of our phones were dying and we were kind of getting worried at that point.”
Making matters worse was the fact that the mattress was full of holes, and gradually began to sink—forcing Palmer to jump off every 10 minutes and re-inflate it manually. Volunteer rescuers eventually received their call for help. Tex was the first to respond, arriving on a jet ski with another friend, Rueben, to rescue the strandees.
“Rueben spots this thing out, way out in the ocean on the horizon and he goes ‘I think that’s them’,” Tex recalled. “I go ‘surely not, there’s no way they’re that far out on a mattress.”
After spending some three hours adrift, Perry and Palmer were ultimately returned safely to land. When asked what they’d do differently next time, they expressed almost zero regrets.
“Definitely check the wind forecast before anything,” Perry said. “But other than that we had a pretty good time.”