Two fishermen from the island of Kiribati were three days from dying of extreme dehydration when a passing fishing vessel rescued them after four weeks on the Pacific Ocean.
Elirito Tataua, 40, and Teikauea Tegiaa, 20, lived on raw fish and rainwater after their small boat’s engine broke down and strong winds pushed them almost 435 miles from Kiribati’s Gilbert Islands. When their supply of fresh water ran out during a dry spell, they were forced to drink seawater.
Alfred Canepa, the captain of the American Samoa-based fishing vessel, spotted the two completely by chance, initially mistaking them for a small flock of birds on his radar. The men were given water right away and spent an hour giving thanks for their return in the ship’s chapel. Canepa and his crew have promised to fix the boat, and the fishermen will be taken to Kiribati in the next few days.