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Get me a 'smoke,' fisherman says after four months adrift in Pacific

A fisherman who was found alive after drifting in the Pacific Ocean for nearly four months had one request, according to a report on Friday: Get me a "smoke."

Agence France-Presse, citing the Marshall Islands fishing vessel that found the fisherman, said the man was healthy but a friend who had set sail with him on May 28 had died.


The rescued fisherman was named Toakai Teitoi, AFP quoted fisheries observer Ali Ezekiah as saying in a radio message from the rescue vessel to an onshore agent. He was reportedly from Kiribati, an island nation in the Central Pacific.

Teitoi was found by the Marshall Islands fishing vessel Marshalls 203 on Sept. 11, northeast of the tiny island nation of Nauru, AFP reported.

"When the crew brought him on to the fishing boat and asked him what he wanted, the first thing he said was 'smoke,'" or a cigarette, AFP quoted Ezekiah as saying.

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The vessel was due to dock in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, this weekend, the news agency said.

Teitoi told his rescuers that his 45-foot boat had suffered engine trouble, AFP reported. He survived by eating fish and drinking rainwater, but his friend died on July 4, according to the report.

It was not immediately clear from where Teitoi set sail. Majuro is more than 400 miles from Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati.

According to the BBC, the Guinness Book of World Records says the record for drifting at sea is held by two fishermen, also from Kiribati, who drifted for 177 days in 1992 before finally landing in Samoa.

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