The two experienced sailors had embarked on a 20-mile boat trip when things went wrong.
The starting point for the trip was Mono Island, the largest island in the Solomon Islands. The plan was to reach another of the islands in the same area, New Georgia Island.
But the two men were quickly surprised by the bad weather. After only two hours of sailing, they were met by strong winds and rain. The weather was eventually so bad that they were no longer able to maneuver the boat safely.
– The GPS stopped working
Eventually, they lost sight of the shoreline, and they no longer knew where they were.
Together with Junior Qoloni, they left the quay early in the morning on Friday 3 September. The vehicle they used was a small motorboat with 60 horsepower. The sea area they were to cross is considered dangerous and where the weather can change quickly.
Eventually they gave up, turned off the engine and let the boat drift without knowing where the nearest land was.
– We could not see where we were going, so we decided to stop the engine and wait, Nanjikana says.
– We prayed night and day
And so the days continued, with no land in sight and with very limited provisions on board. After 29 days drifting at sea, they managed to stay alive thanks to oranges, coconuts and rainwater.
– We survived thanks to our faith in God. We prayed night and day, they tell Voice of the nation (SIBC News).
Fortunately, in the end, a lone fisherman spotted the lost men off New Britain in Papua New Guinea.
By then, they had driven around 400 kilometers in a southeasterly direction. Contact was made, and both men were rescued on board the high seas.
The Solomon Islands are located in the western Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea and northeast of Australia.
Had to be carried ashore
When they finally reached the mainland, they were so exhausted that they finally had to be carried to a local health station. Here they got all the necessary help to get to the hooks.
– I look forward to coming home, but it was strange to take a break from everything. I had no idea what was going on while I was out there. I did not hear about Covid or anything else, told Livae Nanjikana after saving her life after 29 days on the high seas.