Fishermen adrift in Pacific drank shark blood to survive –

Fishermen adrift in Pacific drank shark blood to survive Published:  28 January, 2008

THREE Nauru fishermen lost at sea for 11 days said they survived on the blood and meat of a shark.

The men were found by a Taiwanese fishing boat off the coast of Papua New Guinea on January 13, about 1,600 kilometres from where they were fishing when their runabout broke down earlier in the month, reported.

Stevie Notte, 38, Gabriel Mwareow, 32, and Solomon Tom, 25, had only left the Pacific island of Nauru for a day’s fishing and had little food and no water with them.

As they drifted helplessly for 11 days with only a small piece of board to hold up as protection from the sun, they caught one tuna and one shark for food, Notte said, adding, “we drank the blood of the shark, we were so thirsty.”

When there was a brief shower of rain, he said, “we licked the boat to get water.”

Nauru officials asked the Australian navy to assist with the initial search and Notte said that on the fourth and fifth days adrift they saw aircraft flying overhead, but could not attract the pilots’ attention.

“What kept me alive was my children. I kept thinking about them. I couldn’t die at sea with them waiting for me. I had to try my best to stay alive,” Notte said.

On the 11th day, when they saw the Taiwan fishing boat in the distance, they started a small fire in their aluminum boat hoping the fishing boat crew would see the smoke.

“Tom and Gabriel held me up to wave at the fishing boat,” Notte said.

They did not stop waving or put out the fire until the fishing boat got close and dropped a small boat over the side to rescue them.

The Fong Seong 767 kept the Naurans on board until it docked in Majuro in the Marshall Islands at the end of last week to offload its cargo of tuna. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.