This Colombian sailor was lost at sea for two long months. The lone survivor from his crew of four stayed alive by eating fish and seagull meat on a 23-foot skiff adrift in the vast and treacherous Pacific Ocean. On April 26th he was rescued by a merchant freighter from Panama when they found him over 2,100 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
Here he is speaking with a translator after making it to Honolulu:
The Coast Guard said the man, whose name was not given, was picked up on April 26 by a Panamanian freighter about 2,150 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
The man told the crew of the 618-foot-long bulk carrier Nikkei Verde that he and three companions had set out from Colombia’s Pacific coast more than two months earlier in a 23-foot skiff.
When the motor on the small vessel died, the men drifted, catching and eating fish and seagulls to survive, the Coast Guard said the man reported.
He said the other three died at sea and turned over their passports, but their bodies were not on the skiff when it was found by the merchant ship, the Coast Guard said.
A Coast Guard vessel met the Nikkei Verde off Hawaii and took the survivor to Honolulu.
The fact that he was found at all was lucky, said Lt. Cmdr. John MacKinnon of the Coast Guard’s 14th District in Honolulu.
“The Pacific is vast and inherently dangerous,” MacKinnon said. “This mariner had great fortitude and is very fortunate the crew of the Nikkei Verde happened upon him, as the area he was in is not heavily trafficked.”
The Coast Guard said it would not be investigating the man’s story, “as the circumstances fall outside Coast Guard purview,” according to the press release.
I can’t even be left alone for 24-hours without beginning to go a bit insane. I just cannot fathom being alone at sea, floating for two whole months, with no idea of whether you’ll ever see your family again. That sort of psychological turmoil would turn me into Tom Hanks in Castaway in no time at all, I’d be playing with a bloody beachball thinking it was my best friend. Major props to this guy for keeping it together for so long.