Tuesday 18 September 2012

Shark Rescues Man Lost at Sea

Remember the whale from Castaway?

A 41-year-old policeman from the Pacific Island of Maiana found himself lost at sea with his brother-in-law, in what was supposed to be a two-hour boat ride. The two men -- 41-year-old Toakai Teitoi and 52-year-old Lelu Falaile -- started on May 27 with intentions of boating from Kiribati to Maiana. They stopped to fish along the way, slept overnight and awoke in the morning to find they had drifted out of sight of Maiana and were out of fuel. They had food, but no water. Without water or rescue, Falaile's health failed and he died on July 4.

Teitoi buried his brother at sea and the very next day, a rainstorm that lasted several days allowed Teitoi to fill two 5-gallon containers with water. But weeks continued without incident or rescue. And then on Sept. 11, Teitoi was curled up in the shade under a covered area in the bow of the boat, when he heard a scratching sound on the hull. A shark was bumping against the boat. When the shark had Teitoi's attention, it swam off.

"He was guiding me to a fishing boat. I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me," Teitoi said.

The boat, the Marshalls 203, rescued Teitoi after 106 days at sea.