TOKELAU BOYS RESCUED AFTER 50 DAYS AT SEA

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Trio in good health after two months adrift

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 25, 2010) – Three teenage boys from Tokelau have been rescued by a tuna ship near Fiji after they had been missing for 50 days.

The boys - two aged 15 and one aged 14 - went missing from Atafu Atoll in a small aluminium boat after an annual sport event in early October.

They were presumed to have perished after an unsuccessful searches by the New Zealand air force.

The first mate of the tuna vessel San Nikunau, Tai Fredricsen, says the boys were spotted north-east of Fiji yesterday afternoon.

"They were in reasonably good spirits for how long they’d been adrift for, for approximately two months. They were very badly sun burnt. They were in the open during the day up in the tropics there. But really they just needed basic first aid, which was some creams just to help soothe their burns. And they were able to take our fluids orally, which was quite amazing considering how long they were without food for."

Tai Fredricsen says the three are ecstatic to be rescued and are now relaxing listening to music and watching cartoons.

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