Over the weekend at a beach in Kassandra, Greece, a man named Ivan from North Macedonia and one of his friends was caught up in a strong current and swept out to sea. Their other friends quickly reported them missing to local authorities, and the search began.
While Ivan was lost and doing his best to stay afloat until he was found, he happened upon a partially deflated football also floating nearby. That find likely saved his life. Ivan held tight to that ball, using it to help him tread water and stay afloat for 18 hours until he was found by a rescue helicopter from the Greek Coast Guard.
Sadly, the friend lost with Ivan, Martin Jovanovski is still missing.
A woman who heard the story and saw pictures of Ivan with the football said that she had brought her sons to a beach 80 miles away 10 days ago and lost a football in the ocean while there. She claims that the football that helped Ivan was the one she lost.
Ivan was immediately brought to the hospital upon his rescue and received treatment. He has since recovered and been released.
Watch out for currents and stay safe at the beach this summer, everyone.