A Pacific Island policeman who was stranded at sea for 15 weeks says he was saved by a shark.
Toakai Teitoi was in a wooden boat, lost in the Pacific Ocean, where his brother-in-law died of dehydration in early July.
“We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink,” Teitoi, a 41-year-old father of six from Kiribati, told Sky News.
The pair ran out of fuel after leaving Tarawa — where Teitoi had visited to be sworn in as an officer — on May 27. They stopped to fish, slept overnight and awoke in the middle of the sea. What was supposed to be a two-hour trip back to his home island of Maiana turned into nearly three months.
Teitoi says his brother died of dehydration in early July.
“I left him there overnight and slept next to him like at a funeral,” Teitoi told Agence France-Presse.
The following day, Teitoi buried his brother at sea.
Water that he collected from a rainstorm kept him alive, and he began to pray.
“There were two choices in my mind at the time,” Teitoi told Sky News. “Either someone would find me or I would follow my brother-in-law. It was out of control.”
Two months later, the shark came.
Teitoi says he woke on Sept. 11 to find the creature circling him and nudging the boat.
“He was guiding me to a fishing boat,” Teitoi told AFP. “I looked up and there was a stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me.”
Teitoi says the shark swam off after it got his attention.