American Samoa-based fishing vessel \Pacific Princess\ rescues Kiribati fishermen

An American Samoa-based fishing vessel "Pacific Princess" picked up the pair almost 435 miles from their island home, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Pacific Princess skipper Alfred Canepa said he found the men after spotting what appeared to be a small flock of birds on his radar.

"I went to go check on my boat and luckily I turned that way to check them and we found this small boat with two men adrift at sea, lost," he said.

Mr Canepa said the men had been fishing when their engine gave out.

He said they were malnourished and would not have survived much longer in the open ocean.

"It's a hell of an ordeal, believe me," he said.

"Once they were taken on board I gave them water straight away... it was a dry spell, they weren't getting much rain and what happened was they started drinking salt water and that's lethal.

"They wouldn't have lasted another three days doing that."

The men were taken to the Solomon Islands, where arrangements were being made to return them to Kiribati.

Stories of survival in the vast Pacific are not uncommon.


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