Three teenagers rescued after 50 days lost at seaBy IANS
Thursday, November 25, 2010
WELLINGTON - Three teenagers, who were lost at sea in a tiny vessel and had eaten just one seagull in the 50 days they were adrift, have been dramatically rescued after they were spotted by a passing New Zealand fishing boat.
The teenagers went missing Oct 5 from Atafu atoll, north of Samoa and part of the New Zealand territory of Tokelau.
They had eaten only a single seagull in the past 50 days, stuff.co.nz reported.
After an extensive search failed to find them, memorial services were held for Samuel Perez and Filo Filo, both 15, and Edward Nasau, 14.
“We got to them in a miracle,” said Tai Fredricsen who was on the fishing boat.
The boys had drifted 1,300 km across Pacific until they found themselves near San Nikunau, a tuna boat headed home for Auckland.
“We saw a small vessel - a little speed boat - on our bows, and we knew it was a little weird,” said Fredricsen.
The teenagers began to wave at them.
“I pulled the vessel up as close as I could to them and asked them if they needed any help they said ‘very much so, they were ecstatic to see us,” said Fredricsen.
“They were very skinny, but physically in good health, compared to what they have been through.”
He said: “They are in incredibly good shape for the time they have been at sea.”
The teenagers had a few coconuts on board their vessel but no water.
“Somehow they caught a bird, I dont know how, but they caught it. They ate it, that is what is recommended.”
But they didn’t have anything besides that.
“They were having little sips of seawater, which wouldnt have been a great idea, but they had only done it for the last couple of days.”
He said that as they had begun to drink seawater, they had only days to survive.
“It was a miracle we got to them.”