Joy tempered by a vague cloud of suspicion, as three Mexican shark fishermen are found alive after nine months adrift at sea, surviving on raw fish and rain water.
Gaunt yet grateful, the threesome ascribe their continued existence to the Bible that they had on board with them. Now, that wouldn’t have been the first thing on my list when equipping a fishing expedition, but it’s probably not a bad choice, given a limited budget. We can’t all have GPS and decent radios, after all – otherwise how would we know if we were rich jerks or not?
Naturally, being Mexicans, they are not entirely trusted even by their rescuers. Some suggest that they were running drugs, while others ask whether their two dead colleagues did in fact die of thirst. Subliminal suggestions of cannibalism circle the unhappy trio like sharks around their rudderless boat.
Well, if they did chow down on their companions to survive, it wouldn’t be the first time. That’s the law of the sea – quite literally, as men have on several occasions been cleared of murder when, in the desperate circumstances of a shipwreck, they killed others to take their life jackets.
But maybe karma has already taken steps to restore the balance. After nine months of ripping the throats out of seagulls with their teeth, they end up on the Marshall Islands. The least fate could do was pitch them up on US shores. Santa Barbara, say, or even Seattle.
But if it’s any consolation to the families of the dead, we do know that the others didn’t eat them alive. After all, they weren’t driven ashore in LA, either…
Salvador Ordonez, Jesus Vidana and Lucio Rendon celebrate their arrival on land with one of their rescuers, yesterday, before treating the latter to “a slap-up meal”. Police are now anxious to trace the gentleman in question…