Shark Reportedly Saves Man Lost at Sea

A Kiribati man stranded at sea for 15 weeks says a six-foot shark is responsible for his rescue.
A six-foot shark reportedly saved the life of a man lost at sea. (Photo: Jeff Rotman/Getty Images)
Sep 22, 2012· 1 MIN READ
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades has previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and a medical writer.

Toakai Teitoi is a policeman and father of six from Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific Ocean. He and his brother-in-law became lost on a small wooden boat during what was supposed to have been a two-hour sea journey between the islands of Tarawa and Maiana, the Australian Herald-Sun reports.

Along their journey, the pair stopped to fish and then decided to sleep overnight on the boat. When they awoke the next morning, they discovered the boat had drifted out of sight of Maiana and soon after, ran out of fuel.

Teitoi reports he survived by subsisting on fish and what little rainwater he and his brother-in-law, Ielu Falaile, could collect. It turned out to have been too little for Falaile, who died during the ordeal, succumbing to what news outlets are reporting as dehydration.

"I left him there overnight and slept next to him like at a funeral," Teitoi told the Herald-Sun. The next day, he buried Falaile at sea.

On Sept. 11, the policeman said he awoke from an afternoon nap because he heard the sounds of scratching coming from underneath the boat. He looked overboard to "see the shark circling the boat and bumping the hull."

"He was guiding me to a fishing boat. I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me," Teitoi reported to the paper.

When the shark had his attention, it swam off.

Tetoi was brought aboard a Marshall Islands fishing vessel and given food and juice.

Grateful though he may be, he says his seafaring days are over. "I'll never go by boat again. I'm taking a plane."

Does it surprise you that a shark was able to infer this man was in trouble and needed help? Let us know what you think in the Comments.