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

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4 thoughts on “18 Year Old Fisherman Survived Adrift for 28 Days on Raw Fish and Rainwater

  1. He deserves all the credit for his survival. Don’t any of you Bible thumpers come on here thanksing Jesus..

  2. It won’t help what happened here, but everyone should know these basics…

    Three Rules of Preparation:
     – ALWAYS notify responsible people of EXACTLY where you’re going and EXACTLY when they should expect you back. This provides much better chances of rescue if you become lost, stuck or injured.
     – ALWAYS have a map and compass, and know the area you’re headed into. This can avoid a potential survival situation altogether.
     – ALWAYS check weather forecasts, and be prepared for the worst weather you might face.

    Rule of Three’s for Survival Priorities:
     – You can die in THREE MINUTES from lack of air or profuse bleeding – Keep a first aid kit!
     – You can die in THREE HOURS of exposure – Prepare for the WORST weather you might face!
     – You can die in THREE DAYS from dehydration – Always store extra drinking water, or the means to procure it!
     – You can die in THREE WEEKS from starvation – Food is typically your LAST concern in a survival situation.

    In this situation, even the most basic preparedness (water, a compass and some oars kept in the boat) would have prevented this tragedy. Several hours… a day at most… paddling East would have taken them back to shore. Instead, something as simple as motor failure left them adrift.

    PS – Even if they were properly prepared, a 10 foot boat has no business being more than a couple miles from land. Chalk this up to the unfortunate ignorance and inexperience of youth.

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