Fishermen unravel family mystery after month at sea

Posted: 12/15/2011 in all marine news

Radio Australia News –

Two men from the Pacific nation of Kiribati who were lost at sea for a month have managed not only to survive, but to unravel a 50-year-old family mystery.

Uein Buranibwe, 53, and Temaei Tontaake, 26, made headlines late last month when they washed ashore in the Marshall Islands after 33 days lost at sea.

They were more than 600 kilometres from home. Their global satellite positioning system had broken down and they lived off the fish they caught.

But the men have more than one good reason to be grateful that they washed up on a particular coral atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, Giff Johnson, says the men found much-needed food and water on Namdrik Island.

But he also says that one of the men discovered that his uncle, feared drowned at sea 50 years earlier, had also wound up on the same atoll and married into the community.

The men discovered that they had relatives on the island. “That was a pretty pleasant surprise to drift at sea for 33 days and wind up on an island where you’ve got family members,” Mr Johnson said.

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