16 Aug 2006

Mexican fishermen found off Marshalls after drifting for 11 months

7:10 pm on 16 August 2006

The three Mexican fishermen found drifting near the Marshall Islands are believed to have been lost at sea for eleven months.

Early reports suggested the fishermen had been at sea for about three months when they were rescued by a Taiwanese tuna fishing trawler last week.

The Majuro-based manager of the Koo's Fishing Company, Eugene Muller, says the three Mexicans are still on the trawler at sea.

He says there are some language problems but they reportedly drifted more than 8,000 kilometres after their eight-metre boat developed engine problems out of the Mexican port of San Blas.

The three have been identified as Salvador Ordonez Vasques, Jesus Eduardo Vidana Lopez and Lucio Randon Bacerro.

Mr Muller says they were five fishermen when they set out but two jumped overboard a few days into their ordeal.

The three are reported to be in good health after surviving on rain water, sea birds and fish they had been able to catch.

The trawler which rescued the men is not expected to dock in the Marshalls for up to two weeks.