13 Sep 2010

French Polynesian fisherman's survival story lives on

7:52 pm on 13 September 2010

A French Polynesian fisherman who shot to literary fame in France, will be remembered as a hero in the wake of his death.

Tava'e Raioaoa died at the weekend aged in his mid-60s, after a long illness.

In 2002, the fisherman survived 118 days drifting at sea, living off fish and rain water, and washed up in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.

He recounted his story to the French Journalist, Lionel Duroy.

The subsequent book, So Far the World, has recently been translated into English by a New Zealand French lecturer, Jean Anderson, who says it's moving tale.

"It was published originally several years ago, and it sold something like 50 thousand copies in France because it just really struck a chord with people. Essentially it's just the most amazing story of survival."

Jean Anderson says the English version was published in April this year.