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How Coconuts Saved Four Who Spent 32 Days Stranded At Sea

Four people have miraculously survived more than a month drifting at sea after their boat capsized, killing eight people, including a baby off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

The survivors included a 12-year-old girl and her mother, a boy in his 20s and an adult male who'd all set off from Bouganville island on December 22.

The group had been planning to spend Christmas on the Carteret Islands before the boat rolled over, causing multiple drownings.

The strong swimmers of the group were able to get back to the boat, flip it over and empty the water out before climbing in, survivor Dominic Stally said.

Four people, including Dominic Stally (left), a man in his 20s (right), survived 32 adrift in the ocean. Image: Solomon Star
Views of Honiara from a cruise ship, Solomon Islands. Image: Getty

He said some people died inside the boat, including a baby he'd rescued whose parents had died.

“We could not do anything with their dead bodies. We just have to let go of them at sea," Stally told Solomon Star News.

“A couple have died and left behind their baby and I am the one who held on to the baby and later the baby died as well."

Walk path by the water in Honiara, Solomon Island. Image: Getty

“I am really sorry but there is nothing more I could do to help save the family."

The four people survived by eating floating coconuts and drinking rain water before a fishing boat picked them up close to New Caledonia on January 23.

“We were picked up by a fishing boat just close to New Caledonia and we were kept and fed in the ship until we were told to offload here in Honiara," Stally said.

Patrick Thomas

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“We spend about a week in the fishing vessel before being dropped off here,” he said.

The group was dropped off in Honiara last Saturday and later discharged into the care of PNG High Commissioner John Balavu after receiving treatment for dehydration.

Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au

Feature Image: Getty Stock Image