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54-year-old Zbigniew Reket was heading for South Africa, where he intended to take up work, when his boat was severely damaged, leaving the sailor without navigation or communication systems.

Polish sailor rescued after 'drifting for seven months' in Indian Ocean

Zbigniew Reket claims he drifted in shark and pirate infested waters before being washed ashore on the French island of Réunion on Christmas Day.

The 54-year-old said he hoped to reach South Africa after leaving in his makeshift vessel from the Comoros Islands off the coast of Mozambique in May.

The journey of more than 2,000 kilometres would have seen him travel south down the Mozambique Channel -a busy shipping route with strong currents for his vessel, a modified lifeboat from a cruise ship.

Some are doubtful about his story, but others say his emaciated state and badly damaged boat point to an ordeal of some kind on the high seas.

The seafarer told reporters on the island that is just east of Madagascar, that he was left adrift with just a one-month supply of noodles to keep him alive after his engine failed in May and a storm destroyed his radio. His claims are impossible to verify.

But he says he’s considering remaining on Réunion, where a local charity are looking after him

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