November 25th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Boys found alive after 50 days at sea

For three boys from the Tokelau Islands the word miracle has a whole new meaning.

After going missing following a sporting event in October, and after several unsuccessful searches by New Zealand's air force, they were presumed dead. About 500 people on the island held a memorial service for them.

But for Samuel Perez and Filo Filo, both 15, and Edward Nasau, 14, this story ended in the most unbelievable way - being rescued by a tuna ship near Fiji after 50 days at sea.

Since October 5, the three survived with limited supply. They shared a single raw seagull and drank a tiny bit of rainwater. They eventually resorted to drinking small amounts of sea water, Australia's Herald Sun reported.

On Wednesday afternoon, their saga finally came to an end when the tuna boat, the San Nikunau, saw their small aluminum boat floating in the middle of open waters. They were and 750 nautical miles (1,300 km) away from where they went missing.

'We got to them in a miracle," the first mate, Tai Fredricsen, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"They were in reasonably good spirits for how long they'd been adrift," Fredricsen told the Herald Sun. "They were very badly sunburnt. They were in the open during the day up in the tropics there. But really they just needed basic first aid."

Call it a miracle, or call it luck, but for these boys, it was a rescue that might not have happened if not for chance.

The tuna boat was fishing far from where it usually does, the crew told the Herald Sun. It was taking a shortcut home to New Zealand when it stumbled upon the boys.

The boys were being checked at a hospital but were ecstatic to finally be able to speak by phone to their families.

"They've got a lot of gusto, a lot of strong mental spirit," Fredricsen told the Morning Herald. "Physically they are very [distraught] but mentally they are very strong."

soundoff (589 Responses)
  1. Veritas

    Thank God because this is a true miracle!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Yeah you never hear about that part

      November 25, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam Wilson

      "Any idiot can tell how many seeds a mango has, however no genius can tell how many mangoes a seed has"

      If we understood God's ways, wont we be greater than Him?

      Now, can you imagine how many people can draw moral support from their lives?

      November 25, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • james harris

      @captainskyhawk...athiest?

      November 25, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • scranton

      Very well put Veritas, thank God. And to the rest of you politically correct morons God bless you today.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • tnwnc

      you're an idiot

      November 25, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • aatami

      Sam Wilson – So, which god was it that is responsible for the rescue of these kids? Yours? or Theirs? Ha! You people and your fables. You need some sort of explanation, some sort of reason to be nice because you can't deal with the chaos of the universe. Fool.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      @SamWilson...you're falling back on the believer's only way to explain random events. You pulled out the old "God works in mysterious ways or in ways we mere mortals don't have the ability to explain". Here you're saying that God allowed these three boys to drift in the ocean 50 days for what reason??? Is your loving God a sadist? Did He enjoy watching these boys suffer? Or maybe your imaginary and invisible friend in the sky really doesn't exist! Maybe these events, the good, bad, ugly, and strange are all random.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • GaryO

      Makes me wonder how much food and water they started out with , when the article refers to "limited supply".
      They say that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I guess these boys must be pillars of strength now.
      Imagine how much more they will appreciate everything in their lives, now that this has happened. Wonder why G-d would let this happen, then help them live and eventually get rescued? You can look at that many ways. First is free will. They can choose their actions and their actions have consequences. Sometimes, a friend is someone who helps pull your feet out of the fire when you're in trouble. You can also consider that these boys are now changed in a very significant way and who knows how that will impact their lives and the lives of those around them. Ever hear "G-d works in mysterious ways"?
      Believe me... I'm no religious fanatic. I just believe that there is definitely more out there than we can experience with our 5 senses and I'm pretty confident that there is a higher power out there.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • larryb

      they were very LUCKY...period

      November 25, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike in St. Louis

      Why does God have to be introduced into every converstion? If God id so great why has he allowed so much pain and suffeing to happen in this world? If God is so AllMighty and Powerful, why did he allow 9/11 to happen? Why did he allow Stalin, Hitler, etc. to exist and do what they did? Stop Thanking God for every good thing that happens. He has nothing to do with it.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Voltage

      aatami – you must have a miserable life to demean others faith. It's not ok for someone to happy if you are not. God or no God, believe how you will but don't hate just because someone does't think like you. Think about it, if we all believed like you, this would be even a more chaotic and miserable place to live. It's bad enough already. Be happy with what you believe but don't hate just because someone else thinks differently.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Sam Wilson: It seems we already are greater than god since we created him.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Voltage, funny how christians always complain about athiests demeaning others faith and then turn around and call athiests morons.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      God gave Man free will to make his own decisons. God is not around us for our physical protection. It is Man's free will that has brought both good and evil to our world.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Tea POT party

      Y'all got it wrong. It's the devil that creates evil and bad. God didn't elect Obama. It was a bunch of atheist. You blame god for your sick dog or your convicted son or a missing limb but you embrace the devil because he satisfies your hate for god. You blame god, Your dog dies, Obama gets elected- it's not gods fault. Try to have better faith. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Bleaux

      How utterly stupid. I guess god hated all the people that DID die at sea. You don't need an invisible, supernatural being in the sky to explain why these boys survived, they did it on their own.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

      November 25, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Sam Wilson I do understand that no one can understand the ways of God, but every time the news reports something with a happy ending some one always puts in comments that God was looking out for them or God was protecting them or other comments that they seem to understand Gods ways. If the news was bad like 1000 people died from a massive fire or 100 newborns were killed due a toxic chemicals found in milk. Would you also be so quick to proclaim that the bad news was Gods way and let ever one on a blog like this that it was Gods way? God does nothing for us while we are here on earth. We will face him when we pass from here and we will be judge according to the way we lived our lives. He performs no miracles nor does he cause disasters there is no divine providence that makes thing happen in this world.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • johnnyb52

      God works ALL things together for good.for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. Now for those of you who can only mock God. Mister/Sister, you are on your own as you have decided to be. I choose God as He has drawn me. I will go through tribulation in this world with or without God, I choose God.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      They were saved by the awesome power of Thor's hammer. Mjollnir crushes all other puny cheek-turning deities.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • jack h

      nobody esp a skinny kid can survive for 50 day on 1/3 of a seagull for food and only a little rainwater. being severely dehydated and drinking seawater is certain death and within hours leads to insanity and kidney failure. we are not getting the whole truth here. i'm sure they had food and a good amount of fresh water and a way to refill their water suppy with frequent rain.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      yes thank the invisible magic man in the sky... oh wait, you mean he let this happen in the first place? please folks take your weak minded drivel and stuff it with your turkey

      November 25, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      or better yet when people make the feeble excuse of "god gave us free will to make our own choices"... whatever makes you sleep better at night. You people have to constantly make excuses because your weak little minds cant grasp the fact that, yes we are on our own, no one created us, and the only place we go when we die is in the ground. Admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery

      November 25, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      "Very well put Veritas, thank God. And to the rest of you politically correct morons God bless you today."

      Try "actually correct" you "moron".

      November 25, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Lyss

      WOW, your negative comments to each other taint such an incredible story. Boo!

      November 25, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      jeez!!!! just be happy that the boys survived! u dont have turn it into some stupid debate about religion.

      November 25, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      God couldn't give them more than 1 stinking seagull to eat for 50 days???

      November 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • aUtheistIC

      ey mikey...it's your strong minds couldn't grasp the facts that there weak but billions of minds believing things that you don't or refised to believe. And the hardest facts you could grasp is that you can't do anything to change it.

      November 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AJ

    Way to go, boys! Count your blessings!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    It's stories like these that make my day. An atheist says it was a rescue by random chance. A religious person says it was help from God. Either way, those 3 kids are safe now.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      I'm religious, but I don't feel a need to credit God for the 50% of the coin tosses that work in my favor, and credit random chance for the other 50% that don't. How can you credit God for every good outcome, but not blame him for any of the bad?

      November 25, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pitt Cairn

    Always nice to hear a good story!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • aUtheistIC

      Yeah, indeed...I just could hardly believe that some people failed to appreciate it just bcoz their unbelief or opposition on something. I'm just wondring how pathetic and miserable kind life these type of people have.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. TErry

    God didnt make them get lost Satan did, God used this as an example to show Faith. Allways have faith and dont give up on God. Even tho it feels like it sometimes, He has carried you this far and will love you allways! Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      My rule book, that I base all thoughts and actions upon, says it's God's fault. My book is better than your book. Go Satan!

      November 25, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Sort of a cruel way to show an example of faith!

      November 25, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • tnwnc

      and that's why everyone had a memorial service for them. get a clue.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      The entire thesis of the Bible is flawed. Everything from the Earth being created 6,000 years ago to the old and tired story throughout mankind's existence and BEFORE the Christ tale of a semi-God (an offspring of a God and a mortal) sacrificing himself for the good of mankind. Miracles are labeled by man to add some drama to the event. Nothing other worldly about what happened to these boys. There are MANY examples of people who survived at sea for months with just what was at hand. There are also examples of people being attacked by sharks and killed early on. It's all RANDOM!!! No great scheme or plan being played out from a guy living in the clouds. We've been way up in the clouds in the 20th century and did not see anyone sitting on a cloud.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikola

      Hello Terry,
      I appreciate your comments but I would probably disagree that somehow Satan was responsible. Sometimes when we make dumb decisions, we have to experience the consequences. This would seem to be the essence of "natural law." Maybe this is all these boys did. Bad choices equal bad consequences.

      But in the final analysis this is truly a wonderful thing that will make many people happy. The families are probably thrilled right now and I am very happy for them.

      In the midst of this joyous occasion are these sad folks who bring their unfortunate religious views into this forum. Christians have a right to believe as they have for thousands of years. These men who worship atheism have a right to believe as they want to as well. I feel bad for them that they reject God and feel they must do so publicly. But to conclude in their short lives that God is now a "fable" is presumtuous. Why bring so much hate into a story where there is so much joy? Sadly, it is likely because of a void in their lives. My prayer for them is that all of them might find peace and satisfaction in the way they live rather than promoting hate.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Mikola, quite often it's because of the condescension of the religious people, like you, that cause us to strike back.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Bleaux

      I guess god hated all the people that did die at sea including other children, babies, etc. Get a brain.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • jaywalking

      @ jay..what's the reason to strike back? were those condescension intentionally addressed to you? Do we need to keep religious people from saying what they believe in for two thousand years just to make you feel comfortable each day of your life?

      Again, I say unto you and to all people like you, you need to accept the fact that there are billions of people out there who are believing things that you don't believe or refused to believe. And like you, they also have the right to say or practice it, whenever or wherever they wanted to be and that would include this space.

      November 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      "I say unto you"
      Get over yourself. You say that we shouldn't stop religious nutjobs from spreading the word, however, we athiests seem to be ridiculed at every opportunity by you "kind and gentle" christians. Double standards much?

      November 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • aUtheistIC

      I'm very sorry if you felt that way...but if you could thoroughly see in most of the posts here. You may find that it's the other way around.

      For ex. this one from terry, he was NOT referring to you atheist but to Satan. So why strike back as non-believers? As far as I know you don't believe in Satan either. Unless otherwise you are just and alter-ego of those Satanists. Am right? or you wer wrong!

      November 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. john

    Miracle hah they were lucky as far as god he doesnt even exist if he does where is the SOB??????

    November 25, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      In each and every dupe's mind. Brainwashed monkeys.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • johnnyb52

      Nature itself proclaims God and you ask where is He? You see, but are blind. You are kept from seeing because of your pride. You will see when you humble yourself, not before any man but before God Himself. I thought the way the way you do now and then I was proved arrogant and unbelieving and I am so glad, Like it or not, believe it or not, God bless you and He already has.

      November 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris G.

    Great story! I'm happy these boys made it! True miracle.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. teremist

    In your darkest hour, God will answer your call.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Patchi

      Unless he doesn't. Then you're dead.

      November 25, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • GaryO

      Many people ask G-d for many things. Ever consider that it isn't that G-d isn't listening; it's that sometimes the answer is "no"?

      November 25, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Why bother to pray or call on God? According to the Bible, God has a "divine plan" for you. Are you asking God to change His divine plan just for you? Who are you to make such a demand on the all-powerful being? Accept your fate that your God has in store for you and stop annoying Him with pleas to change His plans. Maybe, just maybe, if things aren't going well for you, it's because your God really doesn't like you.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. deedee long

    God doesn't allow bad things to happen, this is satans world for now and we believe that God hears our prayers and answers them. Thank God these boys were found!!!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      What a cop out! If God is all-powerful He could have countered Sataan's attempt to kill these boys at any time, but, according to you, He waited. Why? Did He get off at watching these boys suffer? Or maybe none of these Bronze Age myths about God, Sataan, and the Son of God (our FIRST and most famous Zombie-a dead guy rising from his dead status) just don't make sense and don't hold water in this 21st century.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. PARROT

    A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.....ANOTHER PROOF GOD DOES EXISTS !!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Patchi

      Or proof that tuna boats exist?

      November 25, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • skivaMan

      Didn't know it was Christmas already. Maybe the miracles are catching up with the stores that sell Christmas merchandise right after Halloween.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Shut up, you brainwashed simple-minded loser. God does not exist. YOU PROVE TO US NON-BELIEVES THAT HE EXISTS, and WE WILL BELIEVE YOU. And I can prove to you that he doesn't exist....because guess what HE DOESN'T!!!!!!

      November 25, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      You see, I exist. You exist. Patchi exists. God, nope. Fairy tale.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      He is correct...God does exist! I have the evidence! I saw His image in a cheese sandwich the other day. Case closed!

      November 25, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Tuna Boat

      You are correct Patchi, I do exist, now worship me.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • PureCandor

      ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY TUNA BOAT

      November 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vinh

    this should be on the front page. CNN pay tooooo much attention on the Chile miners. These boys should be in New York ASAP.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. cabo wabo

    wow! cant believe they were found! small miracles happen every day, bu once in awhile, a really big one happens. glad it happened to those boys 🙂

    November 25, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Video

    Where is the video footage??!!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Gordon Hall

    Unreal. A true Thanksgiving story to start my day. God Bless all of you.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ashley

    It is true. It is stories like these that make my day. God bless them. So strong :'). Have a happy thanksgiving to all!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
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