KOH TAO: 47 year old German expat has been rescued after he was forced to spend 9 hours drifting in the sea off Koh Tao Island. Identified simply by officials as ′Sasha′, is believed to have fallen off the ferry boat on his way to the island, which situated near the coast of Chompon province in southern Thailand.

The German was reported smoking on the side of the boat around 02.00 on the previous night.Mr. Sasha was eventually found 10 kilometres away from the shore, close to Koh Mattra and Koh Kalok islands.He had been swimming for around 9 hours as he waited for the help to arrive. Officials said Mr. Sasha was very exhausted but had sustained no injury.According to his friends, Mr. Sasha is originally from Berlin and has settled in Surat Thani province for 10 years now, where he has been running his hotel business.Mr. Sasha′s friends also told our correspondent that, fortunately, he has been a very talented swimmer.