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. Football

    If God doesn't exist then why are you so upset?

    November 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Because we get this god crap shoved at us constantly and it's immensely obnoxious. So, we're giving it back. What's the matter? Can't take as well as you give?

      November 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SourceOfAllThatLives

    There is a "God" or a "Source of Creation" or a "Spirit" but it is different than the God that Catholics, Christians, Buddists, Muslims and all of the man made religions refer to. Some of the same qualities exist between them like love, peace, inspiration, healing, health, etc...But the Source does not pit man against man and religion against religion. The Source only inspires, gives abundently and does not do harm. Just read Dr. Wayne Dyer, he has it pretty well understood and can explain it to you. Peace to all human kind.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AEtheiStOP


    November 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SBBlair

    Amazing that they were as good a shape as they were. Exposure like they endured is a real killer. Not to mention the aluminum boat that I'm sure got uncomfortably hot. Glad to hear a happy ending. Not many of those around.

    November 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Adah chris

    There God is really alive

    November 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slick

      Yep – god sent these boys out for 50 day fishing trip, or did he/she save them after a 50 day fishing trip – I get confussed.

      November 28, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Think Carefully

    Human stories of miraculous rescues tend to bring the un-Believers out of the woodwork. They just can't wait to let you know that they are not interested in attaining Heaven when they pass on but that their preference is the dark, dreary eternal world totally devoid of all Light and Love. But hey, the choice is entirely theirs. Most people would rather play it Safe than sorry but then there are others who would swear the sun comes up at night and would argue that point. We can feel sorry for them and pray for them but ultimately, they will learn of their demise and fate when they cross over from here. Again, that's by their own hard choice.

    November 25, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gumby

      This is a Christian, lying.

      November 26, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. TimA

    Gives a whole new meaning to a Thanks Giving bird.

    November 26, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gumby

    Tea POT party said: "Y'all got it wrong. It's the devil that creates evil and bad."

    Another christian who doesn't understand his own bible.
    Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.


    November 26, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. commentor9

    I don't believe the story as told – something is missing or something is made up.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tell It To My Heart

    I guess this is a perfect Thanksgiving miracle. Even though I don't celebrate I believe we should be thankful for the life we live and for others. This proves that you should never give up! I can't even understand how much they have suffered but they are definately role models for us all!

    November 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jennifer

    All I know about atheists is that Atheism must be the most unhappy religion in the world. They get new members by tearing other people down, stomping on them and spewing vinegar. And it's never over. Good grief, the story is NOT about you. Vanity.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. amanaki

    This 50 days ordeal is the turning point for the lives of these three boys especially for their belief and hope for God. Thank you Lord for you do bring us miracles. We praise you Lord.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. maggiedaniels


    Nope, there is no God. I alone am responsible for my actions and the results thereof. If you believe differently, fine. But please stop trying to convince me that there is any sane Hand at work in this insane world.
    I'm a believer and I alone am responsible for my actions as well and the outcome of those decidsions..that's not proof that there is or isn't a God. What that is is "FREE WILL". 🙂

    You know's okay to agree to disagree..but why must we all be so ugly to one another? God or no about just being human to one another.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. maggiedaniels

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." - Ghandi

    November 27, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karthick

    Amazing News World... Believe It Or Not But Its True... For More Visit At

    November 28, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
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