Survival at sea a hoax?

Ten days later, the two men from Myanmar who Scott reported were rescued from a floating refrigerator and supposedly survived 25 days at sea with little nourishment are back in the news, but this time because authorities are calling their survival story a hoax.

The men were on a Thai fishing boat off the northern coast of Australia, and it was deemed pointless to search for other survivors, as the waters and conditions in the area are sharky and stormy at best.

The latest doubts that the men’s story is true mainly derives from the implausibility that two men could survive that long floating in such terrible conditions with little nourishment. The two men claim they are the only survivors of a Thai fishing boat accident around Christmastime that killed 18 people. They said they survived on rainwater and bird vomit. If you’re already raising your eyebrows, you should, but the real skepticism should be that one of the young men seemed to be unaffected by this long journey at sea. He showed little evidence of sun exposure. In addition, the icebox showed no signs of saltwater damage even after enduring 25 days in the rough ocean.

The men have been transferred to mainland Australia, where they continue to be questioned about the validity of their story. Authorities now believe the men used the story to escape their native home of Myanmar and seek asylum. This has the makings of a Cuban Elian Gonzalez story, doesn’t it?

Either the men are lying or the skeptics are wrong, but either way, it’s still a pretty cool survival story not to be attempted again.

[via AFP and Australia’s MSN 9 News]