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. Joe

    for those that question God's presence in the world today. See my earlier post on why God lets bad things happen.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. Particle Man

    I found my lost underwear – a miracle!

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

      INDEED!!!because you are blind.

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

    For all of you that live like there is no GOD you better be right!!

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

      Be nice to animals. You may be pleasantly surprised that on Judgement day you could be facing a DOG. So be prepared to bark! And what sort of a religion is it by the way that condones taking life of an animal but then is Pro-life at the same times. Don't you think it is an oxymoron?

      November 25, 2010 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dyna07

    Nice to see a feel good story for a change. Welcome home guys!

    November 25, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. ToFurkey

    Boys 1 – Fate 0 . Boys beat fate in overtime!!

    As for the rest of you espousing your faith, having faith implies being confident and comfortable with your relationship with your designated higher power. IFF your faith is strong enough you would NOT feel the need to explain everything through faith. Knowledge is powerful. Only the weak and unsure need reaffirmation. An empty tin can makes a lot of noise. Besides have the courtesy to extend the same option of "belief" that you exercise to the non-believers. It is just that they believe in something else than what you believe in!!

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

      a buzzer beater from half court with clock winding down and down 2!

      November 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. theLogical1

    These boys better be at Universal Studios and Disneyland in 1 week.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. jal

    hell to any ethiest boodist satan worshipers .

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

      Be nice to the atheists for you will be meeting them in hell. You know how it is in prisons, right?

      November 25, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rocketship

    Just the kind of miracle our collective souls needed to create on Thanksgiving day! Congrats to all. Very nicely done.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. ag

    Stories like this make me believe that there exists a higher power. Some might say that they were rescued by chance. Try to find the probability of a tuna boat crew deciding on that very day to go out of their normal route and the lost boat being in their path. You will find that the mathematical probability will come out almost non-existent. Things do happen in strange way which cannot be explained by any science.

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

      This is ccompletely and utterly wrong. This is a classic case of the argument from incredulity; because you can't understand something, it is therefore unexplainable. The fact is, throughout human history, there have been many ships lost to sea, many which have never been discovered and many people who have died. Eventually, some will be discovered and saved, it's happened before. The odds are small, but not impossible, considering how many people there are on earth and how many ships have gone out to sea throughout history.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Now now JCizzle, common sense doesn't belong in a conversation about belief.

      November 25, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. shanice

    Why are people bringing up religion??? Just be glad the damn kids are home, safe & alive! We may never know if God protected them or if the Devil led them out there, but they're home & that's what matters.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Larry W Jones - Kingwood Kowboy

    Tokelau (Larry W. Jones 10/19/2003) (song#2101)

    I dreamed about Tokelau the other night
    So far away, out of mind and out of sight
    Atafu and Nukunonu
    Fakaofo and Olosenga too

    Little atolls in a wide sea of blue
    Everyone knows everyone it seems
    No wonder, for all of them are few
    But Tokelau is beautiful and free

    And when I dreamed of Tokelau
    One thing I knew for sure
    Adversities could never break their vow
    For island love to endure

    Tokelauans are proud and free
    In the southern seas afar
    Atafu, Nukunonu, Fakaofo and Olosenga
    Are their shining island stars

    I dreamed about Tokelau the other night
    So far away, out of mind and out of sight
    Atafu and Nukunonu
    Fakaofo and Olosenga too

    November 25, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Deshmukh

    Glad the boys were saved. Whatever happened was because of their 'karma'. There is only one God and several forms (qualities) of God. All religions emerged from one single 'dharma' and were not parallely developed, for example – christianity, jewism, etc all emerged from Hinduism and share some similar good thoughts. There is no single person through which you can reach God. God is in your own soul and its a quality you need to carry through your reincarnations.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rocketship

    What you are saying foturk is an mt can rattles the most.
    Remember also that a squeeky wheel gets the grease.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ToFurkey

      There are different ways to get lubed. If that is your end goal CrochShip

      November 25, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. gtruck

    I guess god wanted to make up for killing the miners in new zealand. Lol

    November 25, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. humble servant

    I used to be afraid to ask myself if I beleived in God. That God might exist was a scary thought. When I truly did ask, and faced that fear... I discovered faith. Are you afraid to find out? Ask and you just may receive. Seek and you just may find.

    November 25, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18