A fisherman is thanking a shark for saving his life after he was drifting in the open Pacific Ocean for 15 weeks after his boat ran out of fuel while he was fishing.
Toakai Teitoi from Kiribati, a small island nation in the central pacific, started on his treacherous journey back on May 27. He had left his home island of Maiana and traveled to the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to be officially to be sworn in as a policeman.
The father of six joined his brother-in-law Lelu Falaile, 52, for a boat ride back to his island of Maiana, which was supposed to take only two hours, but ended up turning into a 3-month nightmare.
He told local reporters that he and his brother-in-law decided to do a little fishing in their 15-foot wooden boat while they headed back. But the two ended up falling asleep and woke up out of sight of any land with the remaining fuel they had left running out a short time later.
Adrift in the vast Pacific Ocean, the two men prayed to be rescued, but after long hot days on the ocean, dehydration began to set in.
"We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink," Teitoi told News.com.au.
The two men tried their best to survive but Teitoi's brother-in-law succumbed to dehydration and passed away. Teitoi revealed that he buried Falaile at sea on July 4.
As fortune would have it a large storm passed the following day and Teitoi was able to fill two five-gallon containers full of water. He explained that he stayed out of the hot pacific sun and drank only enough water to survive.
Teitoi was sleeping one afternoon and was awoken by the sounds of bumping and scratching coming from the side of the boat. Teitoi noticed that a shark was circling his boat and then when he looked up, saw a fishing vessel that was close enough to be flagged down.
The members of the crew gave him food and water and he was reunited with his family a few days later.