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. yall are crazy

    God or satan had nothing to do with it. They both dont exsist. Those boys had strength that grown men dont have to have survived that long on open waters in a little metal boat. Survival of the fittest

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

      thay's good and evul ..good won out fer thim boys...I call good "God and evul the can see evil in devil and God in good God is Goooooooooooooodddddddddddddddddddd ! 🙂

      November 25, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. John in Plano

    With God, All Things Are Possible...

    November 25, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • larryb

      including poverty, starvation and cruel death

      November 25, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • PureCandor

      including earthquakes, plague, and invasions by armies of flying monkeys

      November 25, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hoodie

    Is it too late to make these boys CNN Heroes just like the Chilean miners? I hope you can sense my sarcasm!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lae

    God DID NOT allow this to happen! The bible cleary states in Ecc. 9:11 "That time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all". Sometimes as humans we make bad choices just as EVE did and because of these choices we suffer. The fact that they were found by this Tuna boat taking a different route than normal may be that God had his hand in their survival? What ever the case they are safe now and it's a great story they'lll be able to tell their grandchildren years from now...

    November 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • aatami

      Amazing! A loophole. So your god must be a wall street lawyer! You can just rationalize whatever you like using your fables all of which have been edited by man (popes) in order to better control you. You bought it all, hook, line, and sinker. Sucker! The reality is that the universe is amazing in it's chaos and beauty, don't ruin it by trying to give credit to some fable you worship.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Darryl

    i wonder how long until the movie offers kick in...

    November 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. jeff

    The good thing about that is if I'm right that there is a God then I'm going to heaven and your wearing gasoline underwear on an open flame if I'm wrong then there's no loss anyways duh its called faith for a reason.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • DeV are a moron. plz just google pascal's wager so you at least don't sound like a moron...

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

      So are you saying that your faith is based on fear? Are you afraid of what might happen if you do not believe? So does your loving god say, either believe in me or you're going to hell?

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

      You are forgetting the 3rd option Jeff....that there is a god but it isn't the one you are worshipping, which means you will be just as damned as the rest of us.
      Guess you had better start worshipping them all just to make sure you have all bases covered.

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

      Jeff–I am an atheist, but take time to love, honor, and respect all people– including you. My one rule in life is the golden rule. If you truly believe in a higher power, namely God, then you should not be spouting such anger and hatred. Being a Christian is about living your life as Christ did. Telling people they're going to to rot in hell does nothing to demonstrate living a Godly life–and proves you a hypocrite.

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

      See, you are exactly what is wrong with the universe. You only do what this fable of yours tells you is the right thing for fear of some boogie man developed to control you. Left to your own devices, you would be out committing all kinds of "heresy." We call you and your kind undeveloped, like an animal kept in line by its master's whip. The intelligent and educated laugh at you.

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

      Was one of them boys named Michael?

      If so, why didn't "Michael row your boat ashore!"


      November 25, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph Bleaux could get a brain and stop living in a fantasy world.

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

      A.) Christians- Belief that there is God and if you believe in Him you will be save, otherwise you will be burn gnashing your teeth in hell.

      B.) Atheist- Believe there's no God or any (Imaginary) being of great power. They neither believe that there's heaven nor a hell.

      Now for simple analysis:

      If A is right, what would happen to B?

      If B is right what would happen to A.

      Those people who claimed that they based things in logic, must choose the letter of the correct answer.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nancer

    reading this makes me long for the old days when people didn't look for every possible opportunity to talk about 'GOD.' GOD, it's tiresome.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lakerjames

    This site reiterates what is wrong with the world something as beautiful as 3 kids being rescued we you cannot agree on its nobody fault it is just something that went wrong i will say this to all of you satan worshippers i wouldnt want to be in your shoes when jesus comes back?

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

      I hope for your sake that Jesus isn't a stickler for grammar.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bart

    Survival for 50 days in good health on almost no food or fresh water is one story in itself; but somehow these young boys knew to drink just the proper amount of seawater to avoid it's toxic effects and sustain their lives, incredible!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Particle Man

    To those that call this a miracle of God: Which particular God (out of the thousands people have worshiped) performed this miracle? Oh, yes, it must have been YOUR God. Of course.
    Don't get me wrong, I am so glad the boys are safe now. However, I won't be calling this a miracle. Why would a God wishing to demonstrate his awesome power allow these three to drift over 800 miles for almost two months, with only 1 raw seagull to eat and wash down with salt water, only to be found by a seemingly random encounter with a tuna vessel? Now, if they were swallowed by a whale, and then coughed up on their home shore – that would be a feat more worthy of 'miracle'.

    November 25, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • aUtheistIC

      Have you heard the news of a man pushed to safety by a whale or a dolpin to the shore? Even if you had anyway, you might then(again) argue that it must be out of its instict. And yet, there's no miracle.

      November 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. madmax

    we dont need god.. just a satellite phone will do

    November 25, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. leianne malachin

    This is not a debate on religion people. These boys are home and whether blessed or lucky it doesn't matter. They are home!

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

      I agree. But the debate always gets started when religious people arbitrarily select some events and call them miracles as evidence of their God. (Conveniently neglecting the many cases where someone was not rescued or found in time.) Those of us who don't need an invisible, omnipotent being to explain the mysterious things in our lives get tired of hearing it – and we hear it every day.

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

      If you can't accept the fact that God exists, at least accept the (hard)fact that billions of people (no matter what you called them) do believe that HE does exist. That's the the reason why you keep on hearing things that makes you tired everyday. If you would learn to accept that (hard) truth, certainly, your life would be less miserable.

      November 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      ^^ yes and they are all slaughtering eachother in africa in the name of their "god". guess god is racist? cause he apparently doesnt care about them.

      November 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Authiest, the main things that make us miserable is having god shoved down our throats day in and day out. Cut that out and we're quite happy otherwise.

      November 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • aUtheistIC

      mikey...yes, perhaps they were..but just like all of the creatures on earth have been doing.

      Think of this, if religious people could still afford to kill each other despite the fear the they're not only answerable just to themselves or by the law of the land with their actions but also to the law of a supreme being even to their death. Could you imagine what would it be to non-believers like you who wer thinking that they're answerable ONLY to themselves? their anything in leianne malchin's post that he/she mentioned something forcing you to believe in God to believe what he/she believing? As far as my reading abilty and comprehension is concern, I thought he/she just posted the shortest but the most neutral comment and relevant comment ever posted as far as this topic is concerned. But look what you and your fellow non-believers have reacted? I would suggest that you should look at yourself in the mirror that you may see the big mole on your own face, that you might be able to take-it off and please do it before doing it to others.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. humble servant

    The unusual shortcut that led right to the boys appears to me to be God's Grace. And God loves you even if you haven't started seeking yet. Every father loves hid children, even if they are struggling. Blessings!

    November 25, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • ThisGuy

      How dare you turn your nose up and condescend to nonbelievers? You are the one struggling with life as you lean on a superhero for explanations. The true beauty in life is the balance of the universe in all its random activities. Things just happen, some good and some bad. If you applied your god interpretation to every event in the history of the world, you'd find he can't explain nearly any if it. Cherrypicking examples is propaganda. You are Hitler. Have a wonderful day, hopefully one day you will understand what is truly all around you.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      You must remember guy that the weak and feeble minded need a crutch to lean on when they simply cant process the fact that, yes, S–t happens. They attribute it all to some mystery magician in the sky who picks and chooses who he helps.

      "Satan pushed them that far out to sea!!!" so it took god almost 2 months to find them? please

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

    And all those people that die of starvation? Natural disaster deaths? Random accidents? Where is your god to help them then? You believers have the convenience to claim that when something good happens, its because of god, and the devil is to blame for everything else. You have faith, which is intangible. I have reality, which can be seen, felt and breathed. These boys survived because of their own will, each other, a trusty boat and a dab of luck. Welcome home.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.
    And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?

    November 25, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
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