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. unknown

    wow religion is mostly opinion dont bash it just because youre opinion is different

    November 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • PureCandor

      if only people would quit being condescending and desist from bashing on an absence of religion

      November 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. It's God

    Moral of this story is don't always seek an answer through empirical evidence ('cause you might not get it) for the things that God does in His own time in His own way!

    November 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Moral of the story is the kids were smart, and you should not attach the word "miracle" to every story of survival.

      Humans are more than capable of surviving without your imaginary friend.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonter

      UH60L, let's just see how 'imaginary' He is when you cross out from this world. When you finally meet face-to-face with God, and that's a like it or not guarantee, and you lost your chance for Salvation while in this world, you'll sure wish you had had a different viewpoint but by then it will be too late. Your own choice you know. That won't be a pretty picture UH60L, but then it's your own free will choice and besides, when you leave this world, why would you even want to go to Heaven and be with God since you don't believe in Him. It would make no good sense to be with someone you have never known or have given your life to. This is not just me speaking, it's Biblical! Again, believe it or not. So get ready for the dark, dreary eternal world that you would most prefer as it's sure coming! After all, Like DOES attract Like!

      November 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. egretsregret

    Now now, you kids stop arguing and play nice!

    November 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Man with the Golden Gun

    Well done kids. Well done.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. zippit

    BBC just reported that they MAINLY survived on coconuts and rainwater. So yes, CNN is under-reporting.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dhinesh

    Smart kids........
    x give up easily

    November 25, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gracie

    Praise God for his love towards these boys.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. matt

    Where was God and his miracles for the miners? Does NZ only get one per year? Did these boys call dibs?
    Oh right, he works in "mysterious ways." God must have a great union, normally you'd be fired for doing nothing as often as he does.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • kon

      you're craaaaazzzzyyyyy......

      November 25, 2010 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |


    November 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbird

      Of course atheists take off Christmas and Sundays - why is that hypocritical? It's not like they are praying to God all day or something useless like that. By the way, what do you do on Christmas? Echange gifts? Great, I'm sure that gets you a bunch closer to your God. At least atheists call it for what it is - just a fun day to get together with family and have fun. Loser.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      It's a federal holiday, I'm not allowed to work. Of course, I'm not an athiest. I'm just a human being who is smart enough to know the difference between a myth or legend and reality.

      Since I'm in the National Guard, I work more Sundays than alot people. Just another day, no reason to single it out.

      My family celebrate christmas, but not in a religious way. It was always just about family. There was no praying. We had a santa clause with a spring in his butt on the top of the tree.

      By the way, do some research, almost every christmas "tradition" in the U.S. has no roots in christianity. Even religious scholars will admit they don't know when "christ" was actually born (if he existed at all, and don't tell me he did just because someone with a similar name lived during that time period does not make him "the son of god" etc etc etc)

      Grow up.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SwordofPerseus

    Come on people now,
    smile on your brother
    every body get together
    try to love one another right now.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Imagine there's no heaven
      It's easy if you try
      No hell below us
      Above us only sky
      Imagine all the people
      Living for today...

      Imagine there's no countries
      It isn't hard to do
      Nothing to kill or die for
      And no religion too
      Imagine all the people
      Living life in peace...

      November 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ATLdoogie

    Anybody besides me feel bad for the seagull? It would probably have a different view of this happy ending.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JulieD

      That was a hilarious comment.

      November 25, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David

    Reminds me of Life of Pi by YannMartel.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kon

    @ken- you talk too much!!!!you don't know everything...and stop being so negative, instead be thankful those boys are in good shape right now...what if it happened to you?you think you won't survive?have faith....and you will...

    November 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      Yes, have faith in yourself, not in miracles or religion, not in myths.

      Oh wait, i forgot, you do know everything.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dolla

    know ur role n shiut ur mouth

    November 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. UH60L

    Every story of survival gets the "miracle" tag, even though there is no such thing. Give humans credit where it is deserved. Oh, no that wouldn't pander to the religious nuts in the world that pay so many peoples salaries.

    Some day the world will wake up. Until then we'll continue to argue, fight, kill, wage war, all because some of you can't live without an imaginary friend to blame everything on.

    November 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby

      Isn't it funny how the christians were proclaiming the rescue of the Chilean miners but were strangely silent about their deity when the New Zealand miners died? Guess god likes Chilean miners best.

      November 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby

      Sorry, last comment should read:

      "Isn't it funny how the christians were proclaiming the rescue of the Chilean miners *a miracle* but were strangely silent about their deity when the New Zealand miners died? Guess god likes Chilean miners best."

      November 25, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
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