A man who the Coast Guard is calling “fortunate” has been rescued after being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for more than two months. During his time lost at sea, the man watched three fellow mariners die as they waited to be rescued from their ordeal. The man, recently identified as Javier Eduardo Olaya, was rescued after his two month ordeal on April 26, reported CNN, when he was picked up by a Panamanian freighter more than 2,000 miles southeast of the Hilo.
The rescued man, a 29-year-old Columbian, finally saw an end to his two-month ordeal when, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, he made it to Honolulu, Hawaii, on May 4.
His nightmare reportedly began on the Pacific coast of Columbia, where the man and three others set sail in a 23-foot skiff over two months ago. Things turned deadly when the boat’s motor died while the crew was fishing near Malpelo Island, just off the Colombian coast. It was then that the rescued man and his three companions began drifting. The rescued 29-year-old man reportedly told the Coast Guard that during the two month ordeal, he and his fellow mariners did their best to survive by catching fish and seagulls to eat.
By the time the sole survivor of the harrowing two months lost at sea was found by the crew of the Kikkei Verde, a 618-foot-long commercial bulk carrier, he’d witnessed the deaths of his three companions and was losing hope for his own continued survival.
The man provided the passports of the three others to the Coast Guard. However, the bodies of his fellow mariners weren’t found on the disabled, drifting skiff he was rescued from.
Once the surviving man had been rescued and his two-month life and death struggle had been brought to a close, the crew of the Nikkei Verde contacted the Coast Guard and ultimately met up with a Coast Guard vessel somewhere off of the Hawaiian coast. The Coast Guard then took the rescued man to Honolulu.
“The Pacific is vast and inherently dangerous. 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.”
The rescued man had a few words of his own following his fortuitous rescue, which he shared with the world with the help of a Coast Guard interpreter. He said that while he “thanked God that he has life,” he was mourning the deaths of his three companions, adding that he “would have loved it if his friends were here with him.”
Despite the lack of bodies and there being no (official) word as to what caused the deaths of the three others aboard the disabled vessel during its two months adrift, the Coast Guard said that the agency has no plans to further investigate the rescued man’s story, because the case “falls outside the agency’s purview.”
Since being dropped of in Hawaii on by the Coast Guard on Wednesday, the rescued Colombian man has been transported back to his home country, where he was reunited with his wife and family, and he is reportedly in good condition. It remains to be seen whether or not the rescued man will be answering more in-depth questions about his two months at sea anytime soon.
[Image Courtesy Of U.S. Coast Guard/Associated Press Photo]