3 teenage boys rescued after spending 50 days adrift in Pacific Ocean

After being declared dead about two weeks ago, three teenage boys who went missing early October were rescued at sea near Fiji earlier this week, reports CNN. A tuna boat’s crew found Samu Pelesa and Filo Filo, both 15, and Etueni Nasau, 14--all from the Tokelau Islands in the Pacific Ocean--on a boat, "famished, dehydrated, exhausted and sunburned," according to CNN.

"They looked very bad--bones protruding from underneath the skin--but mentally strong, strong as an ox," Tai Fredricsen, the tuna boat’s first mate, told CNN.

"They had a period when they were only drinking fresh water, which they were capturing during the night in a tarpaulin. They also told me that two weeks prior to us rescuing them, they were able to catch a sea bird, which was very lucky for them," Fredricsen told the BBC. "They did mention that during the last two days they had started drinking salt water, which could have been disastrous for them."

The boys’ families and friends held a memorial service for them two weeks ago. Pelesa’s aunt told the BBC, "My mum cried every day and every night. We believed he was still alive anyway; we thought that God was still with them." When Pelesa’s relatives found out that he was rescued, their entire village was "happy, very happy," Pelesa’s uncle, Lakia Kalolo, told CNN.

According to Fredricsen, the three boys said they took the boat out to travel from one island to another, but they got disoriented.

For more on this story, log on to CNN.com and BBC.co.uk.

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