soccer ball on a beach

Man Survives 18 Hours At Sea By Clinging On To Ball Lost By Boys On Beach

In what turned out to be quite a dramatic interpretation of the Tom Hank’s film Cast Away, a man survived being lost at sea by holding on to a child’s ball. A 30-year-old Macedonian man known only as Ivan was holidaying on Myti Beach in Kasandra, Greece when he, along with two other men got caught in powerful currents that swept them away. His friends naturally panicked and called the coast guards- who declared them lost at sea. But as luck favors the brave, Ivan had kept a strong hold on a child’s ball that was floating nearby. He clung to the ball for close to 18 hours until he was rescued.

Ivan's Father (Right) holding the toy ball with Mayor Halka (Centre).
Image Credits: Mayor Anastasia Halka | Facebook

It turns out that the ball that allowed Ivan to survive was lost 10 days earlier by two young brothers, 11-year-old Tryphon and 6-year-old Thanos. They had been playing with the ball on the Evgatis Beach, some 80 miles away in Lemnos when it got swept away. When the mother of the two children saw the ball, she came forward with the news. The ball had kept Ivan afloat while the currents swept him towards the shores of Pilion. He was then spotted by the Greek Air Force that had been a part of the rescue operation. They signaled a nearby freighter to pick Ivan up. 

Read: How missing college student’s odd message to family led to her rescue


Man Survives Across Treacherous Waters By Holding Onto A Ball

According to the Greek Reporter, Ivan has recovered well. His survival is a testament to him being “a particularly strong swimmer,” said Anastasia Halkia, the Mayor of Kassandra Anastasia Halkia. Of the two other men that were pulled out by the currents, one was found by first responders safely. Unfortunately, Martin Jovanovski, the third missing person is yet to be found.

Ivan (in bed) with the Mayor, his father, and brother.
Image Credits: Mayor Anastasia Halka | Facebook

As it turns out, the spot where the three individuals were swimming is particularly dangerous. In fact, the local government had issued several signs that warned swimmers of the currents that were in the area, but the signs were removed.  

Keep Reading: 10-Year-Old Girl Survives -11°C Blizzard By Hugging Stray Dog



  1. Vacationer survives 18 hours adrift at sea after clinging onto children’s ball lost ten days prior.” National Post. Lynn Chaya. July 14, 2022.
  2. Man survives 18 hours at sea by clinging on to football lost by boys on beach.” Metro. Sian Elvin. July 14, 2022.
  3. “Chalkidiki: Two of Three People Lost at Sea Found” Greek Reporter. July 11, 2022.
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]