Two castaways survived 29 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean by feasting on supplies of oranges and catching coconuts that floated past their boat
Image: Getty Images)
Two men cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean incredibly survived for 29 days by eating coconuts which bobbed up to their boat and by catching rainwater.
Solomon Islanders Licvae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni set out from Mono Island on September 3 on what should have been a 124-mile voyage to new South Georgia.
The experienced seamen had taken the trip before and planned to use visual markers to help guide their route.
But the pair ran into disaster when torrential rain and heavy winds battered their small motorboat.
During the storms, their GPS packed in and the men found themselves cast adrift in a notoriously rough and unpredictable stretch of water.
“We have done the trip before and it should have been OK,” Nanjikana told the Guardian.
Without global positioning, they had no way of telling which direction to turn.
They decided to stop the engine in the hopes of saving fuel, Nanjikana said.
The men had taken a store of oranges with them, which helped to keep them alive.
Another source of food came in the form of coconuts bobbing along the waves.
The men fought off dehydration by using a piece of canvas to catch falling rain.
The duo floated 283 miles before being spotted by a fisherman off the coast of New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
“We didn’t know where we were but did not expect to be in another country,” Nanjikana said.
The men were so weak when they were rescued on October 3 that locals had to carry them off the boat.
They are currently living with a local resident in Pomio on the south of New Britain island.
Nanjikana said the ordeal was a “nice break from Covid”, the Guardian reports.
“I had no idea what was going on while I was out there. I didn’t hear about Covid or anything else,” he said.
“I look forward to going back home but I guess it was a nice break from everything.”
Earlier this year, a trio shipwrecked on a deserted island in the Bahamas were rescued after somehow surviving for 33 days.
The two men and a woman told their stunned rescuers they had managed to survive the epic ordeal by eating coconuts.
The castaways claimed they swam to the uninhabited island after their boat capsized in rough waters.
Dramatic footage captured the moment a chopper crew who spotted the marooned trio on a rocky outcrop dropped them life-saving supplies.
The crew said the three people had desperately waved flags as the craft flew over Anguilla Cay, an uninhabited Bahama Banks island, during a routine air patrol on Monday.
A US Coastguard helicopter crew filmed themselves parachuting the supplies from the aircraft.
It captures the moment the three castaways stranded below realised salvation had finally arrived.
The chopper crew’s footage also captured a makeshift encampment the group had built on the island.
The man and two women, who were said to all be Cuban nationals, reportedly told their rescuers they had been stranded for about five weeks on the archipelago, which is located between Cuba and the Florida Keys.
None of the castaways appeared seriously hurt, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) told reporters.