Published May 08, 2013
Two men adrift for more than three weeks on a skiff in the Pacific Ocean survived on rainwater and raw fish before they were rescued by a San Diego boat.
The two men were spotted by Alfred Canepa, captain of the Pacific Princess, during a tuna-fishing trip on Friday.
“We were just doing our job searching for fish, and I spotted a target on my radar that looked like birds,” Canepa told U-T San Diego. “Birds attract fish, so we went toward the birds and saw a large object floating. But it turned out to be a little skiff drifting by the birds. Luckily, I found the birds or I would have never found these guys.”
The men, ages 20 and 40, drifted 420 miles from their home in the Gilbert Islands and began drinking salt water in 90-degree weather after their fresh water supply ran out, U-T San Diego reports.
Canepa said the men prayed in the ship’s chapel for an hour after being picked up from their 14-foot aluminum skiff, and his crew gave them new clothes and toiletries.
The men were dropped off in the Solomon Islands port of Honiara, while government officials are planning to send them home.