Two Solomon Islands people suffered 29 days of damage at sea after GPS trackers stopped working. According to The Guardian, they were found in Papua New Guinea, 400 km from their native place.
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni departed Mono Island in the Solomon Islands in a small motorboat on the morning of 3 September. He planned to travel 200 km to the city of Noro on New Georgia Island.
“We’ve traveled before and it should be fine,” Nanjikana said. However, the sea area in which they were located is usually unpredictable and violent and with only a few hours of travel, the couple encountered rain and strong winds, making the crossing more difficult.
“When the bad weather came, it was bad, but it got worse and it got scary when the GPS ‘die’,” he said. “We couldn’t see where we were going, so we decided to turn off the engine and wait to save fuel.”
nanjikana I Coloni spent about a month surviving on oranges packed for the trip, collecting coconuts and rainwater, which he captured using a piece of canvas. Rescue only came when they saw a fisherman off the coast of New Britain in Papua New Guinea.
“We didn’t know where we were, but we didn’t expect to be in another country,” he said.
They reached the town of Pomio on 2 October, who was quite weak, and in the following days were taken to a nearby home to receive medical care from a local clinic. Islander Joe Colialo told Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that the pair were doing well.
“I look forward to going home, but I think it was a nice break from everything,” he commented. nanjikana
Mary Vallenia, head of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s office in Papua New Guinea, said she was in contact with Nanjikana to make sure arrangements were made for the two people to return home.