Mexicans lost two crewmates
August 19, 2006
Mexico City: THE miraculous story of three Mexican fishermen who survived nine months adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a small boat has taken a new turn after it was revealed there were five men on board the vessel when it began its voyage.
Joel Hernandez Garcia, an official with the Mexican foreign ministry, said there were five people on board the boat when it set off on October 28 from the village of San Blas on Mexico's Pacific coast to fish for shark in local waters.
The boat was blown off course by a storm, and after running out of petrol, drifted for more than nine months and 8000 kilometres until the three survivors were rescued last week by a Taiwanese tuna trawler.
"Two of (the missing fishermen) apparently died after the passage to the open sea, as they were drifting," Mr Garcia said. "The survivors have mentioned the probable time of death of the first person as January and the second person a month later."
No mention was made of the dead fishermen during interviews with Mexican broadcasters earlier this week.
But the operator of the Taiwanese boat said he thought the men said there had been five men, media reports said.
The missing trio said they survived on raw fish, raw ducks, raw seagulls and rainwater. They caught the fish with hooks attached to the end of electric cables from the boat's motor.
"At one point, we went for 15 days without anything to eat," one of the survivors, Jesus Vidana, 61, said.
Mr Garcia made his remarks after talking to Mr Vidana, who indicated "there was little to eat and that the other two refused to eat".
Mr Garcia said the bodies of the two dead fisherman had been thrown overboard.
The men said a Bible on board gave them hope and strengthened their faith. "We never lost hope, because we prayed day and night," Mr Vidana said.
The nine-metre-long, three-metre-wide boat was nearly sunk by huge waves that swamped the vessel, and survived several storms, the men said.
On August 9, the Taiwanese fishing crew spotted the crippled boat on their radar.
The Mexican Government said the men would be brought home as soon as possible.
They are now guests on the trawler, which is due to arrive in the Marshall Islands tomorrow.
Being a fishing boat, wouldn't they have better suited equipment to catch fish with?
After 15 days, maybe the other two guys started to look like seagulls????
I'm a born skeptic and the length of time reported here...I just don't know. I mean, Cap't. Bligh and company, were in that longboat only 41 days with a couple of landfalls thrown in and that feat was called unbelievable.
I also wonder if cannabalism enters into this story as well. A not unheard of event whith men adrift at sea for long periods.
Here's a follow-up with PIX!
These guys look really healthy for having spent 9 months in an open boat. BS meter's needle is bent at right angle!