After drifting for 28 days and over 600 miles in the Pacific ocean, Adrian Vasquez was found drifting near the Galapagos Islands.
He began the trip off the coast of Panama with two friends who did not survive the ordeal.
Captain Hugo Espinoza’s patrol boat of the Ecuadorean Coast Guard picked up Vasquez Sunday morning after commercial fishermen pulled him out of the water.
Vasquez and his friends’ ordeal began when the motor of their 10’ fishing boat, the “Fifty Cents,” failed during the return stretch of their fishing trip on Feb. 24.
The fishing trip had been successful enough that the trio grilled fish for the first several days they spent adrift, but soon the ice in their small cooler melted and their catch began to rot. The boys were forced to throw their catch overboard and live off what they could catch their nets.
On March 10 and March 15, Vasquez’s companions, Oropeces Betancourt, 24, and Fernando Osorio, 26, had both died from the combined effects of dehydration and heat stroke. Three days after each died, Vasquez was forced to push their bodies overboard.
Vasquez survived for another four days without water, but was on the verge of death when a sudden rainstorm poured down enough rain water for Vasquez to fill four gallons of water, which he used to sustain himself until his rescue.
By the time Espinoza reached Vasquez he was suffering the negative psychological effects of prolonged dehydration and starvation. “He didn’t know what was happening,” said Espinoza to the Associated Press, “He was quiet, looking lost.” Vasquez is now recovering on the Panamanian mainland.
photo: Ecuador's navy