20 Jul 2004

Three Kiribati fishermen safe after 10 weeks lost at sea

8:18 pm on 20 July 2004

Three fishermen from Kiribati are safe after enduring more than 70 days of drifting in the open ocean.

They floated into Arno Atoll in the Marshall Islands, more than 300 miles north of their home atoll of

Tarawa, during the weekend, and returned home today.

The owner and captain of the boat, Karawaiti Abera, went tuna fishing on May the 4th with Teuru Beretiati and Kotua Tetaburi.

He says a large object floating underwater knocked the 30-horsepower engine off the boat¹s transom and into the water, where it sank.

During their 10-week ordeal, the trio drank rainwater and fish blood, and ate rainbow runner fish, turtle and shark.

Mr Abera says they saw lots of fishing boats but were never close enough to catch their attention.