Shark rescues man adrift at sea for 15 weeks
- Mon, 17 Sep 2012
A man who survived for 15 weeks adrift in the Pacific Ocean claims he was saved when a shark alerted him to a passing vessel.
Tokai Teitoi and his brother-in-law, Lelu Falaile, had set off in their 15ft wooden boat for what should have been a two-hour sail from Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati in the former British colony of the Gilbert Isles, to their home on the island of Maiana,
After stopping to fish the two men fell asleep and woke to find they had drifted from land and had run out of fuel. Falaile died of dehydration after five weeks.
"We had plenty of food and we could catch fish, but the problem was there was nothing to drink,' said Teitoi. Just 24 hours later a tropical downpour allowed him to fill two five-gallon containers with water.
"Just as I was giving up all hope of being rescued after one boat had passed me by in the distance something every strange happened," Mr Teitoi.
"I was cowering from the sun under a piece of cloth I had stretched across the front of the boat when I felt a big bump, followed by some scratching.
"I looked over the side and saw a six-foot shark circling my boat, but it was mainly bumping against the hull.
"It definitely caught my attention because I had been fast asleep. Then, because I was now awake, I looked around me and saw the stern of a ship."
Teitoi was taken ashore to the Marshall Islands and treated for exhaustion and dehydration.