47 days at sea: “The hand of God saved me”


Malefo Anisi (centre in white shirt) with villagers who rescued him after 47 days at sea.

I Was Saved By God is the moving confession of 58-year-old Solomon Islands survivor Webster Malefo Anisi who was missing at sea for 47 days.

He left Honiara on July 3 on a 21-footer powered by a 25 horsepower engine for Western Province when he began to drift in the foggy weather with strong winds and rough seas.

He was using GPS when he left Honiara and past Guadalcanal and traveled past Yandina with his GPS still reading and when he passed Merry Island the GPS turned off.

Anisi, 58, did not reach Western Province by 5 p.m. on Sunday as planned and realized he was lost when he saw no land on Monday afternoon when its fuel ran out.

He had taken four loaves of bread which lasted him two weeks while the water from the Esky lasted him a week and a half.

When he had no water to drink he cried out to God to send rain and sure enough the rain came and filled his sky.

During the third week, when he had nothing at all, he prayed to God asking him to send a floating coconut to him. And without fail the good Lord sent him a young coconut fresh as if it had just fallen from the tree which he ate in small portions and which lasted him a week and a half while retaining its freshness.

Anisi has a stomach ulcer and eating coconut affected his health, so he stopped eating leftover coconut and lived on water.

He asked the Lord to bless the water to strengthen his body and trusted God to do what seemed best for him.

Anisi sighted the land that is Kaskas Island in Amio, Papua New Guinea on August 18 and when he did, he prayed asking God to send strong winds to push his boat towards the shore and God responded accordingly.

When the boat was near the shore, it capsized due to strong winds and huge waves which threw Ainisi into the sea.

In the meantime, two young girls were fishing and saw the incident.

One dived into the sea and rescued Anisi by bringing her to the beach while the other girl chased after the boat.

The girl gave and cooked him some singapo and while he was eating she followed the other girl and together they managed to bring the boat ashore. They then alerted their other relatives who came to take care of Anisi and contacted the Provincial Disasters Office.

Provincial disaster director Wilfred Augustine sent two of his officers to Kaskas to bring him to Kimbe. However, after seeing Ainis’ condition and knowing that he could not endure a long, difficult journey, he was airlifted to Kimbe by helicopter with the financial assistance of Technical Services Manager Tau Mabone.

Anisi was admitted to Kimbe Provincial Hospital where he received treatment and was discharged and taken care of by the disaster office team.

Anisi will travel to Port Moresby this week and from there fly to Honiara to reunite with his family.

He thanked the two angles who came to his rescue and the people of Kaskas and as a sign of appreciation he gave the boat to the girl who saved his life.

He also thanked Mr. Augustine and the disaster team for their hospitality. Anisi added that he has a message for everyone to never forget God.


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