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Imagine two months alone at sea, drifting hopelessly thinking you’ll never be found.
The 29-year-old Colombian mariner arrived in Honolulu on Wednesday after being rescued on April 26 by the Panamanian freighter, Nikkei Verde, more than 2,000 miles southeast of Hawaii.
The man, whose name was not given, had set out in a 23-foot skiff along with three companions from Colombia’s Pacific coast more than two months earlier. The motor on their small vessel died, leaving the men drifting and trying to survive by eating fish and seagulls. The merchant ship found the skiff and rescued the only survivor, delivering him to the U.S. Coast Guard off Hawaii’s coast.
“The Pacific is vast and inherently dangerous,” said Lt. Cmdr. John MacKinnon of the Coast Guard’s 14th District in Honolulu. “This mariner had great fortitude and is very fortunate the crew of the Nikkei Verde happened upon him, as the area he was in is not heavily trafficked.”
The man, speaking through a Coast Guard interpreter, said he “thanked God that he has life” though he “would have loved it if his friends were here with him,” CNN reported.
According to a press release, the Coast Guard said it would not be investigating the man’s story, “as the circumstances fall outside Coast Guard purview.”
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Video from CNN.
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