Two Solomon Islands men, Levi Nanjikana and Junior Colony, were lost in a storm at sea. They roamed for 29 days and were eventually rescued 400 kilometers off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The trip began on Mono Island on September 3. The men left in a small boat with a few oranges. The plan was to sail 200 kilometers south of Nuru. “We did the trip once already, so it was going smoothly,” Nanjikana told the British newspaper. Watchman. But the Solomon Sea can be treacherous, even for experienced sailors.
After a few hours of sailing, the men were trapped in a sea storm, with heavy rain and strong winds, which made it difficult for them to continue to see the coast they wanted to follow. “When the weather turned, it was bad. But we weren’t really scared until the GPS went down,” Nanjikana said. “We couldn’t see our destination, so we decided to turn the engine off and on to save gas.”
The next time they survived on the oranges they brought with them, the coconuts they found in the sea, and the rainwater they could collect through a cloth. They eventually drifted 400 km to the northwest and were spotted by a fisherman off the coast of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. “We didn’t know where we were, but we didn’t think we would be in another country,” Nanjikana said. The men were so weak that they were removed from the boat when they reached Pomeaux on 2 October.
They were taken to a local hospital and are currently staying with Pomio resident Joe Colello. “They are staying with us and they are very happy,” he told Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
Nanjikana tries to view the experience in a positive light. “I had no idea what was going on, there was no news about Covid. I’m really looking forward to going home, but it was a great break from it all. The government is in contact with the guys so it can bring them home.