Cancún, Mexico – Two fishermen thought to be Jamaicans, who said they had been adrift on the open sea for three months, were rescued near the Mexican island of Cozumel, a port official said.
The brothers Joel and Maffer Lee Smith were rescued Thursday and taken to Cozumel General Hospital, Genaro Medina Escalante, first officer of the Port Captain's Office, said, adding that due to the weakened state in which they were found no further information could be given at this time.
"They're very weak, dehydrated. It takes them a lot of effort to speak, they're almost unable to walk, and it was very hard for them to write their names. They only managed to say they had been several months at sea, apparently three, and that their boat was damaged," Medina said.
"The motor of their fishing boat wasn't working. They had a pair of swim fins and diving masks with them, along with a water pump and a gasoline pump, which was apparently what damaged the motor," the official said.
Red Cross paramedics who gave them first aid said that both had a slight loss of sight and hearing, as well as significant dehydration.
Cozumel General Hospital reported that despite their extreme state of dehydration their condition was stable. Officials with Quintana Roo state's Health Secretariat said they will remain under observation from 24 to 48 hours.
"They're two men between 21 and 23 years of age. They were admitted shortly after 11:00 a.m., but we must mention that one of them said they were from Haiti. The National Migration Institute has been notified and they will be the ones to make any further announcements, once they (the fishermen) have recovered and can give more precise information," Medina said.
The small fishing boat they were sailing was discovered around 10:20 a.m. Thursday by the tourist vessels La Ciguata and Albatros, which at the time were carrying large groups of vacationers.