Sunday 19 November 2017

Rescued fisherman survived on rainwater and fish for nearly two months

A worker in unloads yellow fin tuna in the southern Philippine city of General Santos. The city is considered the tuna capital of the Philippines, exporting to the United States and Europe. Photo: Getty Images
A worker in unloads yellow fin tuna in the southern Philippine city of General Santos. The city is considered the tuna capital of the Philippines, exporting to the United States and Europe. Photo: Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A Filipino fisherman has returned home after getting lost at sea in a storm and drifting for nearly two months

The man was was rescued by a passing ship near Papua New Guinea but sadly he said his uncle had already starved to death.

A smiling Rolando Omongos, 21, told reporters at Manila's airport that he survived on rainwater, raw fish and prayers during his ordeal, which started after he and his uncle set off from southern General Santos city to fish and became separated from fellow fishermen in a storm.

While drifting at sea in their tiny boat, Mr Omongos said he and his uncle struggled to catch fish and waited for rain to drink.

"I did not lose hope," Mr Omongos told reporters. "I was always praying that I will be rescued."

The worst moment came after a month when he said his uncle died slowly from hunger.

Mr Omongos said he waved and waved at passing ships until a Japanese fishing vessel finally stopped and rescued him off Papua New Guinea, more than 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) away from home.

Mr Omongos was flown to Manila, his first plane ride, and spoke briefly to a group of journalists, appearing shy amid all the attention.

He was later taken back to General Santos, where his mother embraced him and wept with joy.

Press Association

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