17 April, 2013 17 April, 2013

South African Surfer Missing At Sea – Surfer goes missing During Mentawai Yacht Charter

Update: The surfer, Brett Archibald, has been found alive – sunburnt and dehydrated, but alive.


According to All Aboard Travel – Brett was found alive 12 miles off the east coast of Sipora, by John Mcroder and Doris aboard the boat Barrenjoey. Brett had floated on his back for 27 hrs in a stormy ocean, drifting around 10 miles in a westerly direction.

Original story below – ED


Zigzag has received distressing news via multiple Facebook posts about a South African surfer who has gone missing at sea while on a Mentawai yacht charter.

Durban surfer Jean-Marc Tostee, who was on the charter bunking with Brett Archibald (an experienced ex-Durban surfer now living in Cape Town), posted the following news about the incident:

Brett Archibald bunked with me as cabin mate on our current surf trip to the Mentawaii islands off Sumatra Indonesia. He was very seasick last night during the huge storm while we were sailing to the islands through the night, and we think he must have fallen overboard when getting sick on deck while all of us were sleeping.

I only discovered it hours later when we woke up this morning at the surf spot and worked out that he wasnt in bis bunk, nor on the top deck. The coast guard boats and planes have searched the ocean all day and so have we…but found nothing yet. It’s dark now and we have to stop and start again tomorrow.

I’m shattered…we all are. We won’t stop searching. We are being inundated with messages, but signal is very limited here so please rather not try to contact us. I will post to Facebook to try relay as much information as I can to as many people as possible. I believe that Archie is strong enough mentally and physically to survive the night in the sea if he hasn’t already been picked up a local fisherman in a small boat or something similar.

Please say a prayer for Brett for strength…and for all of us. If he can keep going we WILL find him. Please forward this message to let others know to watch for Facebook posts when I can make them, as we can’t communicate with everyone individually.

Thank you.

JM Tostee


We’ve since spoken to Jean-Marc’s brother Charl Tostee, who has asked that we spread the word in the hopes that someone with local knowledge of the seas and islands in the area can perhaps lend some insight that may help in the search, or if there is perhaps anyone with a boat or plane in the area that would be able to join in the search for Brett.

Contact Jean-Marc here, or ZIGZAG here


  1. Fuzz Goble
    17 April, 2013 at 8:05 pm · Reply

    Keeping Fingers and Toes crossed for you guys. Cheers Fuzz

  2. ann
    17 April, 2013 at 9:01 pm · Reply

    Oh my goodness saying prayers that he is found. Please god he is safe!

  3. martin
    18 April, 2013 at 3:52 am · Reply

    hes safe and sound

  4. Ann
    18 April, 2013 at 5:25 am · Reply

    How amazing to wake up to this news. For once we have some good happening he’s a flippin legend but there again he’s a surfer and you guys are another special breed. Well done and so happy for him and his famaily and friends!

  5. Kevin
    18 April, 2013 at 7:10 am · Reply

    Good News that he survived the ordeal….hardc ore trip 2 say the least. Hope they now get the surf they went for…well done to all in finding him

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