Man reportedly survives 27 hours at sea following Tonga tsunami

Massive volcano eruption generated waves around the world.
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Footage from an earlier explosion of the same volcano. Dec. 2021
Footage from an earlier explosion of the same volcano. Dec. 2021
(MARY LYN FONUA/Getty)

A man reportedly survived more than a full day at sea after being swept out by tsunamis generated from the massive Tonga volcano eruption last week.

Lisala Folau told Reuters that he “went under[water] nine times before latching onto a log and making it to safety.”

"On the eighth time I thought, the next time I go underwater that's it, because my arms were the only things that were keeping me above water," Folau told the news service.

The Tonga man is reportedly disabled and “cannot walk properly.”

After his ninth time going underwater, Folau also said, he "came up and grabbed a log. And that's what kept me going." 

Folau said that upon initially being swept out, he heard his son calling him, but "I didn't want to answer [him] because I didn't want him to swim out to find me."

The man also said he swam nearly five miles, using the log, to the country’s main island of Tongatapu.