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Last Updated: Wednesday August 16 2006 18:38 GMT

Seagulls save drifting fishermen

Map of the Pacific

Three fishermen who say they spent nine months drifting across the Pacific Ocean have been rescued, after living off a diet of raw fish and seagulls.

The Mexican trio say they had to eat what they could catch and drink rain water after their engine broke down.

They were eventually picked up by a Taiwanese tuna trawler close to the Marshall Islands on 9 August.

The men's trip to catch shark off the Mexican Pacific coast turned into a 5,000-mile (8,000km) ordeal, they said.

The three men, Salvador Ordonez, Jesus Vidana and Lucio Rendon, are all from the Mexican town of San Blas.

Seagull
The sailors had to eat seagulls

"We ate raw seagulls, ducks and fish. We ate everything raw - any fish that came near the boat we grabbed it and gulped it down," Jesus Vidana told Televisa channel in an interview late Tuesday.

"We drank rain water because it rained every day," he said.

"Twice we almost sank. The waves washed into the boat and we thought we were going to die."

The men were eventually picked up after drifting over to the other side of the Pacific and are apparently recovering well.