Lost at sea for 51 days  MAY 18 2011

Three boys from the New Zealand island territory of Tokelau thought it would be good fun to steal a boat and pilot it towards the nearest island more than 50 miles away across the Pacific. They took with them very little food, even less water, and no fishing gear. They were found 51 days later, naked and nearly starved to death. This is their story.

As the afternoon wore on, they grew a little hungry. They wondered what people were saying about them back on Atafu. Eventually the sun set. "We were still in a good mood," says Filo. "Not that hungry." They slept again in a puddle on the bottom of the boat.

The next day, they saw an airplane. It was flying low, and they figured it was looking for them. Etueni waved, and the other two boys immediately teased him for wanting to be rescued so soon. "You're a girl," they said. So he stopped waving. Filo and Samu didn't think two days was enough to seem heroic. They figured, as the plane flew away, that it would eventually be back.

Not for the faint of heart...this story tore my insides up. See also the story of the three Mexican fishermen rescued after nine months at sea. (via hypertext)


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