Lost in the Pacific, two inhabitants of the Solomon Islands They survived 29 days in a seven-meter boat thanks to coconuts, oranges and prayersbefore being rescued off the coast of Papua New Guinea, 400 kilometers (250 miles) away from the starting point on Mono Island.
The two men They were traveling between two islands in the unpredictable sea of the Solomon Islands, when their small boat was caught in a stormon September 3.
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni lost their way “under torrential rain, dense black clouds and strong winds,” Nanjikana said Friday on television Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
Their GPS battery died, and as night approached, they turned off their 60-horsepower engine to save fuel.
The men spent the first night buffeted by wind and rain, which caused their boat to drift further into the sea. For the first nine days they fed on the oranges they had brought for the trip. When they ran out, Livae Nanjikana explained that they survived thanks to rainwater, coconuts “and our faith in God because we prayed day and night.”
Collecting rainwater in a canvas bag, The two men started their engine as soon as they saw a coconut in the sea, and rushed to retrieve it.
“After several days, God gave us the idea of building a device for sailing. So We built a mast-shaped structure with oars and canvas and set the sails following the direction of the wind”Livae Nanjikana explained.
The sail took them to the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea, where they saw a fisherman in a wooden canoe from afar. They started the engine to approach him, but they ran out of fuel. “That’s when we shouted and continually waved our hands at the fisherman, who saw us and paddled towards us,” Nanjikana said.
“When he reached us, we asked him: Where are we now? He replied: Papua New Guinea, and we: Oooh, now we are safe.”he recalled.
Upon reaching land, the two men were so weak that they had to be carried from the boat directly to a nearby house where They were taken care of by the locals.
In statements to the British newspaper GuardianLivae joked that, despite the ordeal, there were some positive aspects of being adrift at sea such as having a “good rest from the covid-19 pandemic.” And said: “I had no idea what was going on while I was there. I didn’t hear anything about covid-19 or anything else. “I really want to go home, but I guess it was a good break from everything.”.
The two men are now in a medical facility in Pomio, on the island of New Britain, while arrangements are made to transfer them to the Solomon Islands.