Six adults and an unconscious baby were rescued Sunday from a boat in the Pacific Ocean after drifting for four days in the blazing sun without water. They had scrambled onto the small wooden dinghy after the ferry they were aboard sank. The MV Butiraoi, A 57-foot wooden catamaran left Nonouti Island bound for South Tarawa on Jan. 18, according to authorities.
The ferry underwent repairs to its propeller shaft just before leaving, which may have contributed to navigation problems. It wasn't clear yet what caused the ferry to sink. With an estimated 50 people on board it was traveling between two islands in the nation of Kiribati when it went missing. Local authorities had been searching for the ferry and New Zealand announced it was joining the search Friday local time.
Survivors in the Pacific Ocean
Those only survivors were found when crew on a military Orion plane had used radar. The dinghy was drifting more than 112 miles from the nearest major island when it was found. A lot of debris were near the dinghy, which may have been from the ferry.The plane dropped supplies to the survivors including food, water and a radio. A fishing boat had changed its course and picked up the survivors Sunday afternoon. Searchers planned to regroup and interview the survivors before deciding whether to continue the search, he added. A Kiribati plane had earlier searched for the ferry but didn't have sophisticated radar equipment.