With the help of oranges, coconuts and prayer, two Solomon Islands men survived 29 days in the South Pacific before being rescued 400 kilometers from their home off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni were out in the Solomon Sea, notoriously unpredictable, when they encountered severe weather just three hours after starting their voyage on September 3.
They told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation on Friday that they were battling rain, strong winds and poor visibility with their seven-meter boat, and the GPS battery had failed. They turned off the engine to save fuel, but in the meantime, their boat drifted more and more into the sea.
Pray day and night
During the first nine days at sea, the two men ate the oranges they had packed for their voyage. Then they dumped rainwater and coconuts floating in the water – and “our belief in God” as Nanjikana mentioned. They prayed “day and night” and finally heard: “God gave us the idea to build a device for sailing.” They would do this with the help of oars and cloth.
In this way, the two unlucky men approached the island of New Britain belonging to Papua New Guinea. From afar they saw a hunter. They restarted the engine, but the fuel ran out on the way to it. “They called and waved,” Nanjikana said, and at last the man saw them and blasphemed at them. You should have asked him where they are now.
After wandering for weeks, preparations are underway for the two men to return to their homeland. (AFP)
“Typical entrepreneur. Lifelong beer expert. Hipster-friendly internet buff. Analyst. Social media enthusiast.”