Two men who were reported missing on October 22 in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean, have been rescued after spending 33 days adrift at sea, reports MSNBC.
The men went missing more than a month ago from Kiribati, an island nation made up of 32 widely-dispersed atolls in the central tropical Pacific. The islands of Kiribati straddle the equator, and are located roughly 1,000 miles northeast of Australia.
The lost sailors, ages 53 and 26, eventually made landfall on a tiny island of Namdrik Atoll, some 300 miles from where they started. The castaways were picked up on November 25, by U.S. Coast Guards based in Hawaii.
Medical checks found the men understandably weakened, but reasonably healthy.
Giff Johnson, editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, told ABC’s Radio Australia Pacific Beat show, “As odd as it may seem, the Marshall Islands hosts Kiribas drifters quite frequently.”
“Let’s just say that people from Kiribati are very hardy individuals,” he said. “They get lost in a little tiny boat, and somehow they manage to persevere, like these two guys who were found in Namdrik, it’s an amazing thing.”
How Can Anyone Survive A Month At Sea?
Every few years, a story like this one pops up. Most of the people in these stories survive unbelievable hardships at sea with a combination of mental and physical toughness, adaptability, knowledge of ocean survival and a refusal to surrender to death.
If a sailor or fisherman can make a shelter from the glaring sun, stave off hypothermia on cold nights, catch fish for sustenance, and collect rain for fresh water, then it’s possible to survive for more than a month adrift.
Three lost Mexican fishermen hold the current known record of being lost at sea the longest. They survived nine months at sea in 2006 by catching and eating raw fish and sea birds and drinking rainwater. To pass the time each day, they claim to have read the Bible and prayed for survival.
After being rescued, the three fishermen became instant folk heroes in Mexico, and were hailed as examples of how faith can save people from harm.
I’d sure hate to be stuck in a little boat adrift in the ocean for a month or more, but what great stories!
Let us know in the comments if you like sushi and rainwater, and who you’d like to be stuck in a little boat with for a month. Or tell us who you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a boat with.