Two men from who were adrift in the Pacific Ocean have turned up on a tiny island 300 miles away, after 33 days at sea, reports say.
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The men, aged 53 and 26, went missing more than a month ago from Kiribati, an island nation made up of 32 widely-dispersed atolls in the central tropical Pacific.
They eventually made landfall on Friday on the atoll of Namdrik, part of the Marshall Islands, where they were picked by U.S. coastguards based in Hawaii.
Medical checks found the men in weakened but reasonable condition.
Giff Johnson, editor of the Marshall Islands Journal, told ABC’s Radio Australia Pacific Beat program: “As odd as it may seem, the Marshall Islands hosts Kiribas drifters quite frequently.”
?Let’s just say that people from Kiribati are very hardy individuals,? he added. “They get lost in a little tiny boat, and somehow they manage to persevere, like these two guys who were found in Namdrik, it’s an amazing thing.”
It was not immediately clear if the pair were among the region?s many fishermen, or where exactly in Kiribati they had started their journey. Namdrik Atoll, sometimes known as Namorik Atoll, is approximately 300 miles north of Kiribati?s main island, Tarawa.
They were reported missing on Oct. 22.
Marshall Islands Sea Patrol adviser Lieutenant Commander George McKenzie told AFP the men were in “reasonable” condition after their ordeal.
“The boat had been reported missing and at the time a three-day air and sea search was undertaken, controlled by US Coast Guard in Honolulu, in coordination with officials in Kiribati,” he said.
Lt. McKenzie said arrangements were being made to take the men to the Marshall Island’s capital Majuro and then home to Kiribati.
However, their repatriation could be delayed by another travel hiccup: the aircraft that flies once a week from Namdrik to Majuro is currently grounded due to maintenance, ABC said.
The Marshall Islands, colonized by Germany then handed to Japan, was occupied and administered by the U.S. until 1986.
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