WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish kite surfer Jan Lisewski fought off repeated shark attacks, overcame thirst and exhaustion in a two-day battle of survival on the Red Sea, Polish media reported on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old Lisewski had completed two thirds of a 200 km (124 miles) attempt to cross the Red Sea from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia when the wind suddenly stopped, deflating his kite.

Faced with rising waves and approaching nightfall the Gdansk-born Polish kite surfing champion and instructor sent out his first SOS signal, but it took nearly 40-hours for the Saudi Arabian coastguard to find him.

Lisewski — who became the first person to kite surf across the Baltic Sea last year — survived the ordeal with help of energy drinks, some water, two energy bars and a trusty knife to fight off sharks up to six meters (yards) long. “I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills,” Lisewski told Polish state news agency PAP.