21 Jan 2004

Norfolk Island survivors turn up after drifting at sea for two days

5:01 pm on 21 January 2004

Two men who turned up safe back at Norfolk Island this morning after drifting at sea for two days are being described as extremely lucky to be alive.

The pair went to test run their five-metre runabout on Monday, without wearing life jackets or having a radio, distress beacon or auxiliary motor onboard.

Jim McLean from New Zealand's National Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre says it appears the boat's engine broke down on the first day, and the men drifted out to sea.

He says they reportedly lit a flare, but in the end saved themselves by managing to fire up the engine again this morning.