Two men lost at sea for almost a month in the Pacific Ocean, called the journey a “nice break” from reality.
“It was a nice break from everything,” Livae Nanjikana, one of the men, said to The Guardian newspaper.
Nanjikana and friend Junior Qoloni left Mono Island on Sept. 3. They planned to take a 124-mile route to Noro, New Georgia Island, within the Solomon archipelago of New Guinea. They only took a sack of oranges on their small motorboat since they’ve made the trip before.
When a fisherman spotted them near Pomio, in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Oct. 2, rescuers got to the men and brought them ashore. The men were so weak, and villagers had to carry them off the boat for medical help.
The men ended up lost at sea 303 miles in the wrong direction.
The men got lost when they tried to wait out stormy skies. They cut off their engine to save fuel.
Rain and wind blew them off-course and messed up their global positioning system. News reports said the area is notoriously rough for sailers.
The weather sent them floating over 250 miles away from their destination point.
“We didn’t know where we were but did not expect to be in another country,” Nanjikana said.
The men survived 29 days lost at sea with Qoloni eating the citrus they’d brought. They also found sea coconuts and rainwater collected on the boat.
After the trip, doctors examined the men, and they are recovering with a Pomio resident. Joe Koleal told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation the men now “live happily with us.”
Wouldn’t you know it, the two are stuck until they recover and pandemic travel restrictions are relaxed.
Nanjikana said it was nice to be free from the world’s news, COVID-19, or anything else. The men look forward to going home after being lost at sea, but “I guess it was a nice break from everything.”
In July, a boat that left near where the two men departed found trouble on the rough waters, according to The Guardian. The ship had seven people on it, but only one person was found alive.
Weeks earlier, 13 passengers disappeared on a boat trip. The passengers were lost at sea and found 31 miles off course 36 hours later.
Local police officials are considering a boating travel ban during rough weather.
Lost In The Middle Of Nowhere
A few male Twitter users loved the story. One said, “No wife for almost a month? That’s a blessing.”
Another joked, “Boys month out.”
Finally, one Twitter user said the men were living the dream. “Drop me on an island with fresh water and coconut trees (and void of sea snakes), and I’d be quite happy for a few months!”
Solomon Islands capital city Honiara is a 3-hour, 15-minute flight to Brisbane, Australia. According to the United Nations, the Oceana country’s population of 652,857 consists of six big islands and over 900 smaller ones.