USA

Two men stranded on Pacific island for 15 months in 1965 tell how they survived

Two males who’ve been stranded on a deserted island within the Pacific Ocean for 15 months within the Nineteen Sixties have come forward to share their attractive story of survival larger than 50 years later. 

Mano Totau and Sione Fataua have been children discovering out at a boarding college within the island nation of Tonga once they and 4 mates decided to steal a whaling boat and journey virtually 500 miles to Fiji in June of 1965.  

In a 60 Minutes specific aired Sunday, Totau and Fataua described how their joyride acquired right here to an alarming end when the engineless boat was ripped apart in a storm, leaving them drifting directionless within the ocean for days sooner than they lastly seen land.

Their experience over the months that adopted has been likened to William Golding’s iconic novel Lord of the Flies – albeit with out the murder and mayhem. 

It wasn’t until September 1966 that sailor Peter Warner seen the boys and rescued them from the volcanic island of ‘Ata. 

Scroll down for video 

A model new 60 Minutes specific aired Sunday tells the story of six teenage schoolboys from Tonga who’ve been stranded on an uninhabited island within the Pacific Ocean for 15 months within the Nineteen Sixties. The boys are pictured above after being rescued 

Sione Fataua (pictured) and Mano Totau were teenagers studying at a boarding school in Tonga when they and four friends decided to steal a whaling boat and travel nearly 500 miles to Fiji in June of 1965

Sione Fataua (pictured) and Mano Totau were teenagers studying at a boarding school in Tonga when they and four friends decided to steal a whaling boat and travel nearly 500 miles to Fiji in June of 1965

Mano Totau is pictured in the 60 Minutes special

Mano Totau is pictured in the 60 Minutes special

Sione Fataua (left) and Mano Totau (correct) have been children discovering out at a boarding college in Tonga once they and 4 mates decided to steal a whaling boat and journey virtually 500 miles to Fiji in June of 1965

The map above shows where the boys set sail from in Tonga, where they were headed in Fiji and where they ended up on the island of 'Ata after a storm ripped the sails and rudder off of their boat

The map above shows where the boys set sail from in Tonga, where they were headed in Fiji and where they ended up on the island of 'Ata after a storm ripped the sails and rudder off of their boat

The map above reveals the place the boys set sail from in Tonga, the place they’ve been headed in Fiji and the place they ended up on the island of ‘Ata after a storm ripped the sails and rudder off of their boat

Totau laughed as he outlined to 60 Minutes correspondent Holly Williams how he and 5 mates decided to steal the whaling boat and set off for Fiji with out an engine or a compass. 

However the story took a darkish flip on the first night of the journey when a storm struck, tearing off the sails and rudder on the boat. 

Fatatua, who was the oldest of the group at 17, talked about they’ve been sure they might die.  

‘No meals, no water. We was merely drifting spherical by the wind,’ he talked about. ‘And after eight days we seen the island.’ 

The boat ended up crashing into the rocky shore and shattering as a result of the boys scrambled to safety on land.  

‘The solely issue we do, grabbing each other collectively and say a prayer: “Thanks, God,”‘ Totau recalled. 

It wasn’t until later that the boys realized they’d drifted larger than 100 miles off course and landed on the uninhabited island referred to as ‘Ata.  

Determined for his or her first meal after larger than per week, the boys regular a fishing pole out of an oar and piece of wire and ate fish raw. They moreover raided a seabird nest, consuming raw eggs and consuming the birds’ blood. 

‘Irrespective of how horrible it’s and the way dirty it’s, it’s a very gorgeous points to have it in that time,’ Totau talked about of the grim meals.  

The boys rapidly gained ample energy to find the island and situated objects left behind by a small Tongan group that used to dwell there – along with a clay pot, machete and chickens. 

They realized the right way to construct a fire and would take turns conserving it going. 

‘I inform the fellows, all individuals have an obligation for the fireplace,’ Fataua talked about. ‘You might want to take care of the fireplace and you must say prayer for that night, and stand up within the morning, it’s nonetheless going.’

As time went on they constructed their very personal shelter out of palm fronds, a yard with beans and bananas, a badminton courtroom docket and a makeshift health heart. 

Fataua and Totau talked about the boys purchased alongside for primarily essentially the most half – with a few disagreements proper right here and there. When fights did escape, they might separate to sit back down, Totau talked about.  

All of the whereas they lived with the probability that they will not be saved.  

‘It was exhausting. And I was – pray God and – and I promise him: “If you happen to might get me again, I’ll serve you, remainder of my life,”‘ Fataua talked about. 

The volcanic island of 'Ata (pictured) sits about 100 miles from Fiji in the Pacific Ocean

The volcanic island of 'Ata (pictured) sits about 100 miles from Fiji in the Pacific Ocean

The volcanic island of ‘Ata (pictured) sits about 100 miles from Fiji within the Pacific Ocean 

The boys recreated their survival story in a documentary called The Castaways. In the scene pictured above, the boys are seen showing off a makeshift gym they built on the island

The boys recreated their survival story in a documentary called The Castaways. In the scene pictured above, the boys are seen showing off a makeshift gym they built on the island

The boys recreated their survival story in a documentary referred to as The Castaways. Within the scene pictured above, the boys are seen exhibiting off a makeshift health heart they constructed on the island 

Their prayers have been lastly answered within the autumn of 1965 when Warner, an Australian fisherman, sailed by the island and was sighted by certainly one of many boys who took shifts expecting passing ships. 

‘This primary decide was swimming in path of us doing the Australian crawl, as I title it,’ Warner suggested 60 Minutes. ‘After which one different 5 our our bodies leapt off the cliff and into the water and adopted him.’ 

The boys climbed into the boat and suggested the crew about how they’d gotten shipwrecked after working away from boarding college in Tonga. 

It wasn't until September 1966 that sailor Peter Warner (pictured) spotted the boys and rescued them from 'Ata

The volcanic island of 'Ata (pictured) sits about 100 miles from Fiji in the Pacific Ocean

It wasn’t until September 1966 that sailor Peter Warner (pictured) seen the boys and rescued them from ‘Ata

Warner talked about he radioed Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, to substantiate the story.  

‘The operator very tearfully talked about: “It’s true. These boys had been college students at this school. They’ve been given up for lifeless. Funerals have been held. And now you’ve discovered them,”‘ Warner recalled. ‘That was a extremely emotional second for all of us.’ 

Totau talked about getting on Warner’s boat felt ‘like strolling through the door to heaven’. 

Nonetheless the boys confronted additional problem upon arrival in Nuku’alofa, the place they’ve been arrested for stealing the boat. 

Warner talked about he paid off the boat’s proprietor to make the charges go away after which transported the boys once more to their residence island to be reunited with their households. 

An Australian film crew chronicled the reunion in a movie regarding the saga referred to as ‘The Castaways’, which seen the boys return to ‘Ata to reenact their time there. 

‘All the inhabitants of this little island have been on the seaside, hugging the boys,’ Warner talked about. ‘Dad and mom have been crying. Then the celebration started. Six days of feasting.’ 

‘My mom, she was swimming out sooner than I get out the boat,’ Fataua talked about. ‘I’m the first one going to the seaside, and gives me a hug.’  

The boys are seen with the crew of Warner's ship after they were rescued in the fall of 1966

The boys are seen with the crew of Warner's ship after they were rescued in the fall of 1966

The boys are seen with the crew of Warner’s ship after they’ve been rescued within the autumn of 1966

The boys’ story remained comparatively unknown exterior of Tonga until last 12 months, when Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman stumbled upon it on the net and was impressed to jot down a complete information about it, referred to as  Humankind: A Hopeful Historical past.

‘I merely couldn’t understand how this had not develop to be, you already know, one of many well-known tales of the 20th Century,’ Bregman suggested 60 Minutes. ‘I merely couldn’t understand it, on account of it’s merely extraordinary, six kids on an island for 15 months. And so they survived, how?’

Bregman talked about he was struck by how fully totally different the boys’ experience was from Lord of the Flies, which bore an identical premise.  

Within the dystopian novel first revealed in 1954, a gaggle of British boys schoolboys stranded on an uninhabited island variety a vicious tribe through which the weak are preyed on and the strong rule. 

The boys' story remained relatively unknown outside of Tonga until last year, when Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman (pictured) stumbled upon it on the internet and was inspired to write an entire book about it, called Humankind: A Hopeful History

The boys' story remained relatively unknown outside of Tonga until last year, when Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman (pictured) stumbled upon it on the internet and was inspired to write an entire book about it, called Humankind: A Hopeful History

The boys’ story remained comparatively unknown exterior of Tonga until last 12 months, when Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman (pictured) stumbled upon it on the net and was impressed to jot down a complete information about it, referred to as Humankind: A Hopeful Historical past

‘That is completely outdated precept in Western custom, that our civilization is simply a thin veneer, solely a thin layer,’ Bregman outlined. ‘And that when one factor unhealthy happens — say there’s a pure disaster in any other case you shipwreck on an island and also you’ve acquired the freedom to find out your private society — that people reveal who they really are. You understand, people deep down are merely selfish. 

‘If tens of lots of of hundreds of kids throughout the globe nonetheless have to be taught Lord of the Flies in college as we converse, I imagine they moreover ought to discover out about this one time in all of world historic previous when precise kids shipwrecked on an precise island, on account of that could be a actually fully totally different story.’  

Totau and Fataua talked about they think about they survived the island on account of they banded collectively. 

‘I imagine the custom the place we come from – we’re shut,’ Fataua talked about. ‘Actually shut family. We share each half. We poor, nonetheless we love each other.’

After being rescued the boys chosen to not return to highschool and as an alternative began working for a fishing enterprise Warner organize in Tonga.  

Fataua adopted through on his island promise to dedicate himself to God and have change into a minister. He’s now head of the Church of Tonga in America. 

Totau grew to change into a chef, moved to Australia and constructed a lifelong friendship with Warner.  

Warner and Totau (pictured together) have remained friends for decades after their unlikely meeting at 'Ata

Warner and Totau (pictured together) have remained friends for decades after their unlikely meeting at 'Ata

Warner and Totau (pictured collectively) have remained mates for a few years after their unlikely assembly at ‘Ata

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button