A Panamanian teenager, 18, survived a harrowing 28 days at sea which brutally took the lives of his two friends and boat-mates. Adrian Vasquez set out to sea with his two friends on a fishing trip February 24th. The trio sailed out on a 10-foot fishing boat when the boat’s motor apparently stopped working, leaving two teens and one man stranded and drifting. Vasquez’s will to survive likely carried him until he finally got rescued last Sunday. He was found suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition and nearly dead.
According to MSNBC World News, Vasquez told the rescue ship that his two friends died of dehydration, starvation and heat stroke and that they had given up in their final days and hours. He said that all three of them tried to survive off of raw fish, using nets and rain water.
Vasquez said the first of his friends to die was Oropeces Betancourt, 24, who had stopped eating and drinking two weeks before he died. His death lead Vasquez with the grisly task of having to throw his body over the side of boat on March 13th, 3 days after his death, after his body started to decompose. Fernano Osorio, 16, reportedly died on March 15th, about 10 days before Vasquez was rescued.
Vasquez said they experienced a rain storm just hours before Osorio died, which allowed him to collect drinking water and continue to survive.
Vasquez was found drifting off the coast of the Galapagos Islands by a commercial liner who later handed the teen over the Ecuadorean Navy. The Navy reported that Vasquez wished only to make two calls — one to his mother to say he was okay and one to boss at the hotel he worked, letting him know why he hadn’t been to work in so long.