Trio survived on a single seagull and had started to drink sea water before their rescue

Three teenage boys have been rescued in the Pacific Ocean after spending 50 days drifting in a tiny aluminium boat.

The trio – Samuel Perez and Filo Filo, both 15, and Edward Nasau, 14 – survived on single seagull, passing coconuts and had started to drink sea water.

They were picked up by a New Zealand fishing boat on Wednesday after drifting 800 miles from the tiny Atafu Atoll to a position north-east of Fiji.


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Despite an extensive search and rescue operation for the boys when they first disappeared on October 5, they weren’t found and were presumed dead.

On Atafu, 500 people held a memorial service for the teenagers.

That they were found at all is a stroke of extreme luck, since the fishing boat that picked them up had strayed from its usual course.

And despite being thin and sunburned, all three were in good spirits and healthy when they were brought on board.

First mate Tai Fredricsen told Stuff.co.nz: “I pulled the vessel up as close as I could to them and asked them if they needed any help… they said ‘very much so’, they were ecstatic to see us.

“They were very skinny, but physically in good health, compared to what they have been through.”

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