A sailor who was lost at sea for seven months with only his cat for company has been rescued on Christmas Day.
Zbiginew Reket, 54-years-old from Poland, drifted into the Indian Ocean seven months ago after his boat broke down.
He claims that he and his cat survived off half a packet of Chinese soup each day as well as whatever he could catch fishing.
Reket says that in May upon leaving the Comoros Islands, which are just off the coast of Mozambique, his destination was South Africa but he was blown off course.
His original journey was more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) and would have involved him sailing through a busy shipping route, the Mozambique Channel, which is known for having strong currents.
Investigators are now trying to verify his story by piecing together the jigsaw pieces to form an itinerary which they claim is almost impossible.
Using a lifeboat which is originally from a cruise ship, Reket modified the vessel for his sea adventures.
Having brought the boat in Alang, India, after leaving the US in 2014, Reket was unable to return to the country as his green card visa had expired.
And so he headed for Jakarta, Indonesia, but after the mast broke he went to the nearer Comoros Islands where he discovered his new friend, Samira the cat.
On the islands he spent a total of two years fixing his broken boat and trying to get back to his home country of Poland via the embassy in Kenya.
Agreeing to give the sailor €150 to help him on his way, Reket started his next long journey with Samira towards Durban, South Africa, which is when his boat broke down.
Many of the instruments on his boat had been destroyed by big waves though, leaving the sailor with no means of communication.
It was only when he was spotted by a yacht crew near the French island of Reunion, which is close to Mauritius, he was saved.
As reported by The Daily Mail, Reket said:
We drifted towards the Somali coast, then towards the Maldives, and then Indonesia again.
Several times I could see land but I could never steer towards it. I spotted several ships but the battery on my radio was dead.
It really does sound like a story out of a film!
When rescuers discovered Reket they found him in good health and only slightly undernourished.
A local charity in the area is now helping the sailor out with clothes and food while the authorities are trying to verify his story.
As an EU citizen, Reket is entitled to stay on the island of Reunion since it is French.
I want to have a normal life, find a job, and why not stay here?
Even if he does lead a normal life from now, he will always have a fascinating story to tell.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.