A Kiribati fisherman has been rescued after drifting in the Pacific Ocean for 106 days on a 45-foot wooden boat. The first thing he asked for as he was rescued was a "smoke."
Toakai Teitoi, 41, from the Island of Kiribati, was rescued on Sept 11 by a Marshalls Island fishing vessel, after spending 106 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean. NBC reported Teitoi was found northeast of the tiny island nation of Nauru.
Teitoi's ordeal began when he set sail on what should have been a two-hour journey on May 27, with his 52-year-old brother-in-law Ielu Falaile. The pair decided to sleep in the boat overnight after stopping to fish, but the next day ran out of fuel as they drifted out of sight of the island.
RNW reported Falaile died on July 4 after his health failed. The pair suffered dehydradation but Teitoi survived by eating fish and drinking rainwater which he amassed after a storm. Teitoi spent most of his time adrift on the boat trying to keep out of the tropical sun.
According to Emirates 247 fisheries observer Ali Ezekiah sent a message from the rescue boat when Teitoi was found. He said "When the crew brought him on to the fishing boat and asked him what he wanted, the first thing he said was 'smoke'".
When his rescuers realized Teitoi was in good physical shape they continued to fish for several days before returning him to land.