Six boys marooned on a desert island for 15 months. They stole a boat from a local fisherman and appeared in an island. What happened next will shock you… Did they survive??

In June 1965, six boys aged 13–16 from a Catholic boarding school decided to steal a boat from a local fisherman.

You’ve probably read Golding’s Lord of the Flies? In the book, which is now considered a classic, several boys from decent families find themselves stranded on a desert island. Alone, without adults. This didn’t lead to anything good.

11 years after the book was published, a similar situation actually happened, but the outcome was completely different. The guys were in over their heads!

The story is interesting, but, unfortunately, now almost forgotten. There is an interesting documentary about her on YouTube. The author of this film went to the uninhabited island of Ata with Kahlo, one of those six teenagers who ended up there back in 1965. Kahlo was already approaching 70, but he remembered everything as if it had happened just yesterday.

The Kingdom of Tonga is a state in Polynesia, located on almost 200 islands. In June 1965, six boys aged 13 to 16 from a Catholic boarding school in the city of Nuku’alofa (the capital of a country with a population of only 20 thousand people) decided to steal a boat from a local fisherman. The guys planned an adventure: they wanted to swim to Fiji or even New Zealand.

The guys took nothing with them: a couple of bunches of bananas, a few coconuts, and a gas burner. No map, no compass. In a word – boobies. As soon as we set sail, we dozed off. The ocean quickly showed who was in charge. The boat was covered by a storm, the sail was blown away, the oars were broken. For the next seven days, the boys drifted, preparing for the worst. The food ran out immediately, the water was minimal. It rained a couple of times and the guys collected water in coconut shells. Fortunately, on the eighth day they washed ashore on Ata Island.

Area – 2.3 square kilometers. Dense vegetation, tropics – after all. People once lived here, but in the mid-19th century, Peruvian slave traders took everyone away. Since then the island has been uninhabited. This is where our sailors ended up. And you know, in a difficult situation, children from poor families showed their best side. Most likely, it was self-discipline that saved them.

The boys immediately agreed not to quarrel, but, if the situation began to escalate, to separate for a while. They organized work shifts of two people. Responsibilities: kitchen, food collection and guard duty. They lit a fire, and for 15 months they made sure that the fire did not go out. They caught fish and birds, ate taro stems, and later discovered the ruins of an old settlement, and there they found feral chickens and bananas. With water it was more difficult. It rarely rained, and in the summer the children were constantly thirsty. Then they learned to better collect and store water.

One day, Stephen, one of the boys, slipped and broke his leg. Then others splinted him with sticks and vines, and took over his duties. The bone healed perfectly.

Every morning and at night the children prayed. One of them made something like a guitar out of wire and coconut and entertained others with music. The guys had their own “gym” with “dumbbells” made from improvised materials. Someone will ask: why didn’t they try to escape? We tried. They even made a raft, but the waves were too strong, and they didn’t know where to swim.

The guys were found in September 1966. They were rescued by Australian fisherman Peter Warner from a wealthy family. At first, he told the crew to be on guard, fearing a catch – what if they stumbled upon a pirate camp? Then he contacted Nuku’alofa by radio, and they were surprised to confirm: yes, the boys were missing, and they had long since said goodbye.

It’s impossible to believe, but at home the guys… were immediately thrown into jail. The fisherman did not forgive them for the stolen boat. Warner had to pay for their release. When the boys returned to their native village, they were greeted by literally the entire population of the island. Australian television even filmed a story about it. Unfortunately, now history has begun to be forgotten, but it is very revealing. With your head on your shoulders and discipline you can overcome any difficulties.

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