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article imageKite surfer Jan Lisewski fends off sharks with knife in Red Sea

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 9, 2012 in World
Polish kite surfer Jan Lisewski recently found himself in a battle against sharks in the Red Sea during a kite surfing excursion.
According to Reuters, as Lisewski sailed across the Red Sea from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia, the wind suddenly stopped. His kite was deflated and he was faced with having to brave out the situation until help arrived, two-thirds into his 124-mile trip.
Reportedly, the 42-year-old Lisewski waited 40 hours for help to arrive. He survived the ordeal by nourishing himself with two energy bars, some water and energy drinks. That was likely the least of his problems, however, as he spent a good amount of his time fighting off sharks.
In an interview with the Polish Press Agency (courtesy of Kite Movement), Lisewski describes the challenges he was confronted with while waiting for the Saudi Arabian coast guard to arrive.
When asked about what happened, Lisewski described why he chose the time he left, explaining the winds needing to be good conditions, stating, "Such a forecast, for all day, was for 2nd of March. I started in wind of 4 in Bft scale, which has later reach 5 Bft. When there was around 60 km till destination, the wind has suddenly died, just like fire blown from a match."
After waiting for an hour-and-a-half, no winds came back, but waves had built up and night was arriving, and he called SOS, then called again three hours later. He shot flares out to passing fisherman, but was not noticed .
Lisewski says the first night stuck on the sea was "peaceful" and he'd made a raft with his board and drifted about. The second night, however, was not peaceful as winds pushed him into a reef where sharks were in the vicinity.
"They were about 2,5 to 6 meters. They attacked me through my kite, which must’ve also attracted them because of its colour," Lisewski said. "I stabbed them in the eyes, nose and gills. The fight, which I’ve miraculously survived, took whole night. By the morning, they were gone. There were eleven of them."
He gives credit to his brother Piotr who'd made him take the knife on the trip. “Maybe he had a premonition,” noted Lisewski.
Eventually, he was rescued by a military boat and was brought to a hospital. He is doing well and suffers no injuries, but did experience exhaustion and dehydration, reported NBC Miami.
Last year Lisewski sailed across the Baltic Sea from Poland to Sweden. Kiteworld Magazine reported, "This is the first such achievement in the world." The Red Sea trip was a similar type of trip said the magazine.
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