A man who had been drifting in a wooden boat in the Central Pacific for almost four months claims he was rescued by a shark, which guided him to a fishing boat.
Toakai Teitoi's ordeal began in May, after he had flown from his home in Maiana to the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to be sworn in as a policeman.
Instead of flying back after the ceremony, he joined his brother-in-law Ielu Falaile, on his 15' wooden boat, for what should have been a two-hour journey home.
But they decided to do a spot of fishing and ended up spending the night on the boat — and the following morning they found they had drifted badly and then ran out of fuel. Although the two men had plenty of food, there was nothing on the boat for them to drink.
Dehydration soon became a problem for the two men and after five weeks adrift Falaile died. Teitoi told Sky News that he slept next to his brother-in-law's dead body overnight before burying him at sea the next morning.
According to the report, shortly after the death of Falaile, a storm lasting for several days allowed Teitoi to fill some containers on board the boat with fresh water to drink.
On the afternoon of September 11 he was asleep under a small covered area of the boat he used to shelter from the sun, when he was woken by a bumping and scratching noise. When he looked he discovered a 6' shark, which was swimming around the boat and bumping the hull.
Teitoi said that the shark seemed to have been trying to attract his attention. It then swam off.
When he looked up he could see the stern of a fishing boat. The crew picked him up and took him to the Marshall Islands. He had spent a total of 15 weeks at sea.
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