Men lost at sea for 29 days said they ‘enjoyed the break’ from COVID-19 news

Men lost at sea for 29 days said they ‘enjoyed the break’ from COVID-19 news

  • Two men set off on a sailing trip from the Solomon Islands and were caught in bad weather. 
  • Dangerous conditions broke their GPS system and they washed up on the coast of Papua New Guinea. 
  • Although they were found very weak after being stranded for 28 days, they said it was a “nice break.”

Two men were lost at sea for 29 days, with only rainwater to hydrate them, the oranges they’d packed, and the coconuts they found to eat.

The duo from the Solomon Islands, Live Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni, were rescued off the coast of Papua New Guinea on 2 October after their journey from Mono Island took a turn for the worse. 

While experienced seamen, they encountered dangerous weather two hours into their journey, causing their GPS to malfunction. 

Their single 60 horsepower motorboat was no match for the weather, and they drifted for 300 miles north west for 29 days.

“We didn’t know where we were but did not expect to be in another country,” Nanjikana told The Guardian. 

The pair were spotted by a fisher off the coast of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. 

They were taken to Pomio, East New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea, and assessed at the Local Health Clinic. They have been in Pomio ever since.

At the end of their ordeal, the men were incredibly weak. They told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that they survived “only on rainwater and coconuts and our faith in God because we pray day and night.”

For most, being lost at sea would be the most terrifying ordeal. But the two men were able to shine a positive light on the experience.

Nanjikana told The Guardian that it acted as a “nice break” from the terror of the COVID-19 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. 

“I look forward to going back home but I guess it was a nice break from everything.”

The men are set to return home to the Solomon Islands.

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