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Fisherman Lost at Sea for 15 Weeks, Claims He was Rescued by a Shark

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September 17, 2012
Fisherman Lost at Sea for 15 Weeks, Claims He was Rescued by a Shark - 4

A Kritibati policeman was rescued by a shark last week after being adrift at sea for 15 weeks.

Toakai Teitoi’s incredible ordeal began on May 27 when he flew from his island home of Maiana to the Kiribati (an island in the tropical Pacific) capital of Tarawa to be sworn in as a police officer. After the ceremony Mr. Teitoi took in a movie that depicted the true story of four Kiribati men who had been lost at sea for six weeks. Only two of the men survived the ordeal. Ironically, the following day would find Teitoi living the experience of the movie he had just seen.

On May 28 Teitoi began his journey home in the company of his brother-in-law Ielu Falaile. The two men boarded their 15-foot wooden boat with the intention of fishing during the two-hour trip back to Maiana. After fishing a short while the two men took a midday nap. When they awoke they could no longer see land. Efforts to find land ended with them expending all of their fuel.

Teito explained his situation to the Daily Mail. “We had plenty of food and we could catch fish, but the problem was there was nothing to drink,” Teito said. After 5 weeks adrift Falaile succumbed to dehydration and died. “I left him there [in the boat] overnight and slept next to him, like at a funeral,” Teitoi explained. Teitoi lowered his body into the sea the next day. The following day brought heavy rain that allowed Teitoi to fill two 5-gallon jugs with fresh water to drink.

Several weeks later Teitoi’s water supply was exhausted leaving him weak and at the mercy of the unrelenting tropical sun. Teitoi was avoiding the sun by staying beneath a canvas cloth when he felt a heavy bump against the bottom of his boat. “I looked over the side and saw a six-foot shark circling my boat, but it was mainly bumping against the hull. It definitely caught my attention because I had been fast asleep. Then, because I was now awake, I looked around me and saw the stern of a ship. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I could just make out the crew who were looking at me through binoculars.” After 15 weeks at sea Teitoi was rescued. Teitoi credits the shark with saving his life stating that he would have remained under the cloth had the shark not brushed up against his boat. Teitoi has vowed to never set foot on a boat again.

Was this guy lucky or what? Comment below!

Comments (4)

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from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Hi...

Let's see if I've got this right...they had just seen a movie the night before about residents of a nearby island who had been lost at sea for six weeks.

Then they set out in a boat with (apparently) no oars for the little boat.

Then they both decided to take a midday nap...apparently a LONG one.

Then, as experienced Pacific Islanders, when they awoke, they could see no signs of where they were, or even tell direction, and had no idea as to where 'home' was in relation to their boat.

Then he was adrift at sea for almost FOUR months...and the seas in the general area of Tarawa were so gentle all that time that the boat was never swamped.

Then a shark swims along and decides to "bump" the little boat to wake him up, just in time for him to see a passing ship with the crew looking at him with binoculars.

WOW...nothing fishy there...so it must be true...!!

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

The shark was looking to rescue him alright - out of the boat and into the water!

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from puffy wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Falling asleep in a small boat on the ocean that you believe is securely anchored is a little risky as anchors can slip, but in a boat that’s adrift or underway? With what sounds like no chart, compass, or radio? I think I’d stay out of boats too if that was the best I could do. On the plus side, he did manage to stay alive, which was no small feat in itself.

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from pineywoods wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Lucky, maybe, but he did all he could to save himself and survived long enough to be picked up. Yes, I'll have to say being bumped awake by a shark just in time was a stroke of luck for him, but not for the shark which was looking for an easy meal.

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from pineywoods wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Lucky, maybe, but he did all he could to save himself and survived long enough to be picked up. Yes, I'll have to say being bumped awake by a shark just in time was a stroke of luck for him, but not for the shark which was looking for an easy meal.

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from puffy wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Falling asleep in a small boat on the ocean that you believe is securely anchored is a little risky as anchors can slip, but in a boat that’s adrift or underway? With what sounds like no chart, compass, or radio? I think I’d stay out of boats too if that was the best I could do. On the plus side, he did manage to stay alive, which was no small feat in itself.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

The shark was looking to rescue him alright - out of the boat and into the water!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Hi...

Let's see if I've got this right...they had just seen a movie the night before about residents of a nearby island who had been lost at sea for six weeks.

Then they set out in a boat with (apparently) no oars for the little boat.

Then they both decided to take a midday nap...apparently a LONG one.

Then, as experienced Pacific Islanders, when they awoke, they could see no signs of where they were, or even tell direction, and had no idea as to where 'home' was in relation to their boat.

Then he was adrift at sea for almost FOUR months...and the seas in the general area of Tarawa were so gentle all that time that the boat was never swamped.

Then a shark swims along and decides to "bump" the little boat to wake him up, just in time for him to see a passing ship with the crew looking at him with binoculars.

WOW...nothing fishy there...so it must be true...!!

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