A Turkish fisherman has survived the sinking of his boat after he managed to swim to a nearby buoy, holding on until rescuers arrived.
Vahap Erdemir was picked up by a passing boat in the Gulf of Gemlik near Mudanya, a town in Turkey's north-western Bursa Province. His best friend, 60-year-old Mustafa Sonmez died during the incident.

The 65-year-old survivor said his boat began taking on water early in the morning. The fisherman started heading towards shore but “then the back of the boat suddenly started going underwater and instead we started heading towards the buoy”.

Erdemir said the vessel sank so quickly that neither his friend or him had time to take off their shoes or their warm, heavy clothing. Both men struggled to stay afloat in the water.

“I was lucky because I managed to grab a rope leading to the buoy but I couldn’t reach my friend who was a poor swimmer,” explained Erdemir. 

“His heavy clothes were also weighing him down and all I could do was watch his lifeless body floating away. I tried to reach him with my fishing rod but it wasn’t any use. I couldn’t even call using my mobile phone because it got wet,” the fisherman told the Daily Mail.

Erdemir swam to the buoy, climbing onto the device. He was spotted by a fellow boat operator and was rescued.

Mustafa Sonmez’s body was recovered, but despite emergency treatment he was declared dead on arrival at the Mudanya State Hospital.