Two Burmese men rescued after spending 25 days floating in icebox in ocean

January 20th, 2009 - 3:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Jan 20 (ANI): Two Burmese men, who were rescued after they were found in the Torres Strait off Queensland in a giant icebox, revealed that they had been drifting for 25 days after their fishing boat sank.

Their boat had sunk southeast of Indonesia, and they had drifted hundreds of kilometres in the red icebox before a Coastwatch plane spotted them on January 17 about 60 nautical miles off Horn Island, in the Torres Strait.

According to the Courier-Mail, the two men revealed that that they were forced to crew a 10m-long Thai fishing boat that broke up about 200 nautical miles north of Australia.

When the wooden boat had splintered, the crew sent out distress signals but were ignored, and the two ended up climbing into the icebox as other crew members searched for something to hold on to.

The two managed to survive by drinking rainwater that gathered at the bottom of the box, and by eating pieces of fish that were also in the container.

As per the two, who are the only survivors out of the 11 Burmese crew and seven Thais, they lost count of time as they drifted on the ocean, and could have been drifting for 25 days before they were spotted.

Emergency Management Queensland helicopter pilot Terry Gadenne told Channel 7 that the men were ecstatic to see rescuers.

When we winched down the rescue crewmen into the water, the guy in the esky leapt out, quoted Gadenne as saying.

He was desperately keen to get on and pulled them down into the water he was pretty keen to get away from the water. When they got up they sculled two litres of water each within seconds.

It’’s a bloody big ocean to be drifting around in, he added. (ANI)

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