Four from Papua New Guinea's Bougainville province survived in the Pacific for 32 days on coconuts and rainwater and made it on the shore alive while eight of their companions, including an infant, were killed in the ocean due to starvation, said reports.
The group left Bougainville, East of mainland Papua New Guinea in the month of December last year to celebrate Christmas on Carteret Islands in the Pacific Ocean, and their boat had capsized. The four individuals, that are now recovering in the Solomon island told the media that they managed to stay alive by eating coconuts and drinking rainwater that they collected in the coconut shell.
Dominic Stally, one of the survivors told the reporters that the group was sailing to the island in a small boat that capsized and several group members drowned in the ocean. He added that few of them were accounted for and managed to hook on to the vessel, however, there were more fatalities due to the powerful wave thrusts in the perilous ocean.
Dominic further added that it was heart-wrenching to see people die but survival was made impossible by the severe ocean currents and lack of food. He said that a couple could not survive the ordeal and left behind an infant struggling to survive. He added that it was him who held onto the baby for as long as he could, however, unfortunately, the baby died at sea.
Stally told the reporters that a number of fishing vessels were seen in the sea but they were unable to signal them for help. The survivors were finally rescued and were safely taken on a vessel on January 23 off New Caledonia after they had drifted some 2,000 kilometers famished.
Reports suggest that the survivors comprised two men, a woman and a girl aged about 12 that were picked at New Caledonia by a fishing boat, Honiara and were under-recovery procedures. The group was treated for dehydration and has been discharged under the supervision of John Balavu, PNG High Commissioner.