Four people including girl, 12, survive 32 days adrift in the Pacific by eating coconuts found floating in the sea in hellish ordeal that claimed the lives of their eight companions
- Group of 12 sailed off from Bougainville, Solomon Islands, on December 22
- They were intending to sail 62 miles to nearby islands to celebrate Christmas
- But boat capsized, causing some to drown and leaving others adrift in Pacific
- Four survived for 32 days by eating floating coconuts and collecting rainwater
Four people survived a month adrift in the Pacific Ocean after their boat capsized off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The survivors – including a girl aged around 12, a woman, a boy in his 20s, and an adult male – had set off from Bougainville island on December 22.
The group, which initially numbered 12, had been intending to celebrate Christmas on the island Carteret Islands, around 62 miles away, when disaster struck.
Four people out of a group of 12 survived for 32 days adrift at sea after their boat capsized off the coast of the Solomon Islands (file image) on December 22
Survivor Dominic Stally said their small boat capsized and a number of the group drowned.
The rest managed to right the vessel but there were further fatalities as they floated in the remote waters at the mercy of powerful ocean currents.
‘We could do nothing with their dead bodies, we just have to let go of them at sea,’ he told the Solomon Star News.
‘A couple have died and left behind their baby and I am the one who held onto the baby and later the baby died as well.’
Stally said The group survived by eating coconuts they found in the water, and by drinking rain they collected in a bowl.
He added that a number of fishing vessels passed nearby without noticing them until they were finally picked up on January 23 off New Caledonia after drifting some 1,200 miles (2,000km.)
The Star News said the survivors comprised two men, a woman and a girl aged about 12.
They were dropped off in Honiara last Saturday and were discharged into the care of PNG High Commissioner John Balavu after receiving treatment for dehydration.
Epic tales of survival are not uncommon in the Pacific, where tiny islands are separated by vast expanses of ocean.
In January 2014, Salvadoran fisherman Jose Alvarenga washed up in the Marshalls, more than 13 months after he set off from Mexico’s west coast with a companion, who died during the voyage.
An Indonesian teenager survived seven weeks at sea in 2018 after his tiny fishing trap lost its moorings and ended up some 2,500 kilometres away off Guam.
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