HERE’S THE SCOOP:
- Two men spent 29 days lost at sea after their GPS tracker stopped working.
- They survived on oranges, coconuts, and rainwater.
- A fisherman eventually spotted them off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Two men spent 29 days lost at sea after their GPS tracker stopped working. A fisherman found them off the coast of Papua New Guinea, quite a ways off from where their journey began.
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni departed from the Solomon Islands on Sep. 3 in a small motorboat.
The pair planned to travel south to New Georgia Island.
“We have done the trip before and it should have been OK,” Nanjikana said.
Just a few hours into their journey, things took a turn. They encountered heavy rain and strong winds which impaired their ability to follow the coastline.
“When the bad weather came, it was bad,” he said. “But it was worse and became scary when the GPS died.”
“We couldn’t see where we were going and so we just decided to stop the engine and wait.”
The pair survived on oranges they’d packed for the trip, coconuts they collected from the sea, and rainwater they trapped using a piece of canvas. They drifted about for 29 days, eventually spotting a fisher off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
“We didn’t know where we were but did not expect to be in another country,” Nanjikana said.
The men were so weak that when they arrived in the town of Pomio on Oct. 2, helpers carried them off the boat.
The pair are now staying with a Pomio local, Joe Kolealo.
“Now they live happily with us,” Kolealo said.
Nanjikana said he has taken some positives away from the experience, such as a forced break from the chaos of a global pandemic.
“I had no idea what was going on while I was out there. I didn’t hear about Covid or anything else,” he said, adding that “it was a nice break from everything.”
Officials said they’re in the process of ensuring the two men make their way back home.
Source: The Guardian