*** ----> Panamanians lost at sea count their lucky coconuts | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Panamanians lost at sea count their lucky coconuts

AFP | Bogota                                     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Three Panamanians who drifted in the Pacific for 11 days, surviving on rainwater and coconuts that floated by, have been rescued, the Colombian navy said Friday.

The trio traveled about 600 kilometers (370 miles) on what was supposed to be a routine run from Veracruz, about 25 kilometers outside Panama City, to refuel a fishing boat.

"We gave it gas around 5, 6 in the afternoon. And then when everyone took off, after a certain distance, our engine stalled," said Blas Olivardia, 30, in a video released to the media.

"From then on, our journey started with the north wind. It took 11 days," he added.

Without supplies, they survived on rainwater and coconuts.

The coconuts "came in the current, we grabbed them, broke them and ate them," said Rey Arturo Torres, 27, who was also stranded on the boat alongside Jose Olivardia, 21.

A Colombian navy patrol spotted the drifting boat with the castaways on board about 180 nautical miles from the country's port of Buenaventura.

The three men "were fine, despite the time" lost at sea, Colombian Navy Lieutenant Commander Juan David Rendon told AFP.

In images released by the navy, the three men are seen standing next to a boat. One is barefoot, another in only socks and another is wearing sandals.

The Panamanians can thank their lucky coconuts -- in January 2023, the Colombian navy rescued a man from the Caribbean island of Dominica who survived 24 days adrift on a sailboat by eating ketchup.