This Teenage Adventure On The Open Sea Quickly Turned Into A Nightmare

Surely all of us as teenagers had our fair share of drunk adventures. What this group of three teenagers did not know was that their drunk adventure would soon turn out to be a tale of horror and despair.

#15. Lost Hope

Photo: Courtesy of American Upbeat

Filo Filo and Samu Tonuia, both 15 years old, together with Eteuni Nasau, 14 years old, set out to sea looking for a drunk adventure. While spending their day at a clubhouse on the Pacific Island of Atafu, they got the idea to embark on a trip.

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They stole Samu’s uncle’s boat in order to go to the next atoll, Nukunonu, which was located 62 miles away from their own atoll.

#14. Small Island

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The kids, as all teenagers, didn’t think things through, and neither did they think of the consequences of their actions. In this case, they did not know what would happen to them.

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Many villagers speculated that they did it to impress girls or for love, but in reality, as Etueni confessed, they were drunk. Rumors fly quickly in these small islands.

#13. An Atoll

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Atolls are creations of the Earth where there is a huge lagoon o body of water in the middle of the ‘island’.

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This happens usually with most island areas of the world. It’s also known as a coral atoll, as there are usually coral reefs in the lagoons.

#12. In Retrospective

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After the events of the story we are writing, the boys got to the realization that they should have looked at a map, and that would have surely stopped them from embarking on this adventure.

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Atafu, where they live, is a very small atoll that measures a single square mile. Around that, it’s all open ocean. In fact, most Tokelauans don’t even sail very far away from home due to the harsh waters.

#11. Loading Up Supplies

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The boys did not think about all the dangers that they could face while they were sailing the open sea. They just thought that with a boat full of supplies, they would be alright.

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They loaded 30 coconuts, two bottles of milk, a jar of water, vodka, and cigarettes. Unfortunately, they would become very, very low on these supplies.

#10. No Fishing Gear

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It did not even dawn on the three teenagers to grab some fishing gear in case they needed it. What does it mean that they did not grab fishing gear? That in case they needed to get more food, they would be unable to do so.

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This was a huge mistake on their part. In the end, Filo did end up grabbing a tarpaulin, which helped them collect water and provide shelter.

#9. Late Night Start

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Samu was the designated pilot of the boat and all the boys decided to set off after midnight. They continued drinking vodka while they were sailing. Etueni also confessed to GQ that they wanted to “see where the stars took them”.

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We should take into account that for these kids, island life was very peaceful and they wanted to experience adventure firsthand, which was supposed to be fun. If they wanted excitement, that’s what they got!

#8. And Trouble Started

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Wearing only t-shirts, the three boys started to feel the extreme cold of night at sea, and on top of that, the cold water of the ocean sprayed onto them while they were sailing.

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They ended up turning off the boats motor and falling asleep, becoming completely at the whim of the sea. And that was their biggest mistake.

#7. Missing Teens

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By morning, the whole village noted that the kids were missing, and a meeting with all villagers was called in order to figure out what happened.

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The leader of Tokelau, Kuresa Nasau, called for search parties to investigate the surrounding islands and the lagoon in the middle of the atoll.

#6. Bad Weather

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Every man in the village began the search for the three teenagers. They got off the island and started to look everywhere on the lagoon, but they came out empty handed. They were starting to get nervous as a large storm was about to pass through.

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The storm meant ill fate for the islanders, as earlier that year three men were killed when their barge capsized during a storm. They knew that the sea was not safe for the boys!

#5. Hangover

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The next morning, the boys woke up with a terrible hangover, extremely thirsty and shockingly, completely carefree.

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They thought “hey, that’s what the provisions are for!”, so they cracked open some coconuts and drank from them. After that, they also drank the two bottles of milk.

#4. Running Out of Provisions

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It didn’t take long for the boys to run out of all of their provisions. They were getting hungry and thirsty but they did not know what to do. On top of that, the sun was beating down on them, thus making them more dehydrated.

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By their sixth day at sea, they began to drink sea water. Being boys that lived on an island, they knew it was a bad idea! But they were so thirsty and so sick they didn’t know what else to do.

#3. Getting Worse

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Before too long, things were getting worse very quickly for the boys. They were getting burned by the sun, they were not getting enough sleep, and they were dehydrated and really hungry.

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Things were definitely not looking good. They only ate when, on rare occasions, a wave flashed some fish to the boat, or when they could catch a bird that landed on the boat. They even ate the barnacles that adhered to the bottom of the boat’s hull.

#2. Miracle Ship

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The kids’ rescue was not far from being a miracle. The San Nikunau tuna boat was going off course that day, and as they were sailing close to the boys’ boat, they saw them.

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They pulled up next to the missing boys and rescued them from the tiny boat. Tai Fredrisen from the San Nikunau told CNN that the boys were in really bad shape, their bones protruding from their skin, but mentally they were strong as an ox. Immediately after being rescued, they were given first aid to their burnt skin.

#1. Returning Home

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As the village authorities had declared them dead, the village had held a large memorial for the boys. A week after that, the boys were found and rescued, and the villagers as a community were in shock and awe!

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They celebrated their lives with a huge party and were able to rejoice with each other. All three boys have left Tokelau. Samu and Filo moved to Australia with their families, and Etueni moved to Hawaii.

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  • About Author

    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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