Officials with the US Coast Guard say the man was drifting in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean in a 23-foot skiff before being rescued by a passing bulk carrier.
The 29-year-old Columbian was picked up in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean at the end of April by the crew of the Nikkei Verde, a Panamanian-flagged 618-foot bulk carrier.
According to the man, he and three companions set out from Columbia more than two months earlier. They were on board a 23-foot skiff when its engine failed, leaving them drifting in the Pacific.
The man, who has not been named, said he caught and ate fish and seagulls to stay alive. The three other men reportedly perished at sea. Their bodies were not aboard the skiff when it was found by Nikkei Verde’s crew about 2,150 miles southeast of Hilo.
However, the survivor did surrender their passports to officials.
The crew of the Nikkei Verde, who were on their way to China, brought the man aboard and contacted the US Coast Guard to request medical advice and assistance to return the man to his home country.
The 29-year-old arrived in Honolulu on Wednesday aboard a Coast Guard small boat after being transferred from the Nikkei Verde. The emergency services were waiting for the man, who was described as being in a stable condition.
The Colombian consul in San Francisco was informed and transportation, Customs clearance, lodging, any hospital care, and an escort was organised ahead of the survivor’s arrival to Honolulu.
Joint Rescue Coordination Center chief with the Coast Guard 14th District, Lt. Cmdr. John MacKinnon said: “This mariner had great fortitude and is very fortunate the crew of the Nikkei Verde happened upon him as the area he was in is not heavily trafficked,”
He continued: “The Pacific is vast and inherently dangerous and all mariners respect that. These merchant mariners did the right thing in rendering assistance and most mariners heed the obligation to render assistance at sea, found in the Safety Of Life At Sea Convention, out of a sense of duty and understanding rather than required compliance.”
The Coast Guard is not investigating the case as the circumstances fall outside its purview.