3 Tokelau teens rescued after 50 days LOSTat sea
Just over 50 days after three teenage boys got lost at sea, and two weeks after hundreds turned out to mourn them, the father of one of the teens rescued 240 miles from land said a traditional celebration is now in order.
"I couldn't believe my son and his boys were found again. Unbelievable," Tanu Filo, whose 15-year-old son Filo was among the survivors, told CNN Thursday in a telephone interview from his native Tokelau Islands. "I was on cloud nine. I was so joyful."
The younger Filo and his cousins -- Etueni Nasau, 14, Samu Pelesa, 15 -- were famished, dehydrated, exhausted and sunburned when a crew member on a fishing boat two miles away spotted their 12-foot metal boat and alerted his superior.
"He alerted us that he saw something immediately on our bow, directly in front of us," Tai Fredricsen told CNN Thursday from his 280-foot tuna boat. "As we drew closer, we could tell that it was a small boat
of some type."
The boat was a strange find so far from land. "It's not something you go in the open ocean with," he said, noting that the boat was 240 miles northeast of Fiji
when it was spotted late Tuesday afternoon.
And it got stranger. Inside were three naked teenage boys -- cousins from the Tokelau Islands 750 nautical miles away.
Asked whether they needed help, they said yes.
When he learned how long they had been adrift, Fredricsen released his rescue boat, took them aboard his fishing boat, the San Nikunau.
"They looked very bad -- bones protruding from underneath the skin, but mentally strong, strong as an ox," Fredricsen said.
He moved them to his cabin's king-sized bed, where "they all fit comfortably," and began administering first aid to their burned skin.
"They were ecstatic," he said.
He also gave them electrolyte-spiked liquids as he had been trained to do in a first-aid class. "I just gave them very small doses -- they more or less let the drink stay in their mouth and they swirled it around and let it absorb in their cheeks very slowly."
After about half an hour, they were able to swallow, but he urged them to go slowly. "They knew I was trying to help, and they did what I said. The cooperation was just incredible from the start."
After a couple of hours, they were able to eat small pieces of dry white bread, he said. Four hours later, he was feeding them slices of oranges and apples.
"And then they were starting to get a little bit carried away -- they were wanting some McDonald's or some French fries, but I couldn't allow them to have that yet."
Read more at:http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-25/world/new.zealand.sea.rescue_1_fishing-boat-tuna-boat-rescue-boat?