Stranded on a deserted island

Author:
Publish date:

AUG. 1 — His fishing trip began May 17, but it was June 28 before he finally started making his way home. For Filipino fisherman Jonathan Tawameo, the ordeal became a test of endurance and survival.

Various news accounts report Tawameo departed a mother ship alone aboard a 14-foot boat to fish in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines. When signs of a storm approached, Tawameo says he made his way back to the mother ship, but it was gone.

The storm that rolled over him began 10 days of drifting, the fisherman told authorities, during which he survived on rainwater and fish. He sailed to an uninhabited island, where he survived for three days by eating wild papaya and fish.

On May 30 he was spotted and rescued by a resident of the island nation of Palau and taken to a village on SonsorolIsland. There, villages radioed marine authorities, but the nearest patrol boat was about 500 miles away. The rescue boat would not arrive for nearly a month.

He was flown back to the Philippines on July 18, where he was picked up by a representative of the fishing boat he worked aboard, who assisted him in making his way back home to his family.