Two Remarkable Survival Stories of People Lost at Sea

Getting lost at sea is one of the worst ordeals that can happen to anyone. Without food or drinking water, the odds will be fairly against you if you get lost at sea. You would see nothing apart from the vast expanse of the ocean no matter where you look. If you are particularly unfortunate, you may even encounter perilous wildlife, like crocodiles or sharks.

A shipwreck in the open sea is the last place you would want to be in. If you are lucky, you may get rescued within the first couple of days. Beyond that, you will need incredible nerves of steel to survive this ordeal.

Having satellite internet from a reliable provider like HughesNet will surely come in handy in these situations.

There have been times when people have been able to survive against all odds after getting stranded at sea. Here are two such stories.

Group of Teenagers Survive 50 Days Shipwrecked in the Pacific

There are numerous island chains in the vast Pacific Ocean. It is common for people to travel between these islands using small boats. These islands are close together that sailing between them is relatively cheap and easy.

Sailing was a routine activity for Etueni Nasau, Samu Pelesa, and Filo, three teenagers from tiny Tokelau Island. They set off on their journey on October 5, 2010. Their trip would turn out to be much longer than expected.

Soon after sailing into the open sea, they drifted away from the coast until they could see nothing but water in all directions. They got lost and had no idea which way to sail to get back home.

They only had enough water for just two days. Once their water supplies ran out, they had no choice but to fall back on rainwater. Weeks later, with nothing to eat and no chance of rescue, they resorted to catching a passing bird and eating it raw.

Back home in Tokelau, their community presumed the boys to be dead. They even held a memorial service that was attended by around 500 mourners.

After nearly two months at sea without any food or drinking water, the boys were now very close to death. They were so desperate that they had even started drinking seawater. But then they were rescued by a fishing boat somewhere between Samoa and Fiji. Their boat had drifted more than 500 miles over 50 days.

Steve Callahan’s Misfortune in the Caribbean

Steve Callahan has expert sailing skills. He is a naval architect and has been a seafarer since his youth. One of his voyages in 1981 began from Rhode Island. He took this trip on the Napoleon Solo, a boat he constructed. He sailed across the Atlantic Ocean traveling to Western Europe via Bermuda. On the way back to Antigua, he got into trouble.

A week into his return journey, Napoleon Solo hit something in the ocean that ripped a hole large enough to sink the boat. It isn’t exactly clear what caused the collision but Callahan suspects it was a whale or a big shark.

Callahan managed to deploy his inflatable raft before his boat got completely submerged. He even managed to collect some emergency supplies, including food and water as the boat was sinking. The cabin, where the supplies had been kept, was already submerged before he collected those supplies. So he had to make several diving runs to collect those supplies.

This would turn out to be crucial to his survival, as he would be stuck for 76 days. He was eventually rescued by a passing vessel off the coast of Guadalupe. He had lost one-third of his weight and was hospitalized once he was back on land. However, he didn’t even wait for the night to pass. After getting some treatment, he hitchhiked his way across the Caribbean before he reached Antigua.

Three decades later, he worked as a consultant on Life of Pi, an acclaimed movie about a man surviving being stranded at sea for a lengthy period. Callahan’s experience most definitely contributed to making the movie realistic.

Summing Up

Getting lost at sea is something you would not wish even for your worst enemy. It takes immense determination and courage to survive a shipwreck. We hope you never encounter such a situation. But if you get unlucky enough to find yourself stranded at sea, having access to satellite internet will improve your odds of survival.

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