Survival Diet: Rainwater and Bird Puke

Lost-at-sea survivors say bird vomit key to survival

By David Hogarty
|  Thursday, Jan 22, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 PM EDT
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Survival Diet: Rainwater and Bird Puke

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Two fisherman who floated on the open ocean for 25 days after their boat sank claim they survived by drinking rainwater and eating fish regurgitated by passing birds.

The pair were allegedly adrift for more than three weeks in an icebox that survived the sinking of a fishing boat that cost the lives of more than a dozen of their crewmates. They were eventually rescued by helicopter and brought to Australia, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Their tale of hardship on the high seas is an incredible one.

"For 10 days, nothing to eat.," said one of the survivors, thought to be from Myanmar.. "Then two big seabirds came and vomited some small fish -- about six or seven little fish, and that's all."

It's too incredible for some, who doubted that fresh water could have reasonably been collected at the bottom of a fish cooler.

"It would be unlikely that they would travel in that esky [a portable cooler] for that time without a certain quantity of saltwater getting in, " a doctor with the Royal Australian Navy Reserve told Agence-France Presse, after explaining that any salt water contamination would have proved fatal.

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