Thursday, January 04, 2007

Costa Rican fishermen rescued after six weeks at sea

Costa Rican fisherman Roger Quintero, 15, embraces his sister Juana Mercados, 10, left, and his mother Mercedes Mercados, right, while speaking to the Associated Press about the 6 weeks he was adrift at sea in his home in Coco Beach, Costa Rica, on the northern Pacific coast, Thursday, Jan. (AP/Kent Gilbert)San Jose, Costa Rica (AP) - Five Costa Rican fishermen, all but one teenagers, were rescued off the coast of El Salvador after spending more than six weeks adrift on the Pacific Ocean surviving on rain water and sea turtles, Costa Rica's security department said Wednesday.

The fishermen, one of whom is 15 years old, had set off in a small fishing boat from the town of Playas del Coco, 150 miles northwest of the capital of San Jose on November 16.

A few days after it departed the fishermen's 37-foot (11-meter) boat sustained mechanical problems and was blown into the ocean by fierce winds the department said in a news release.

On New Year's Eve, a Polish cargo ship spotted the fishermen burning plastic bags 115 miles off El Salvador's coast and alerted authorities. The fishermen were rescued by the Costa Rican coast guard.

The boat's captain, Gregorio Collado, said he and his crew survived on fishing skills and self-discipline.

"The blood and meat of the turtles kept us strong and when water was scarce, we decided to only drink half a cup. Nobody complained," Collado said.

No comments:

Related posts