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Six Rescued After Months Adrift

October 23, 1997

AGANA, Guam (AP) _ Six people from Indonesia who say they were adrift in the Western Pacific for three months were rescued Wednesday by a Japanese fishing vessel.

The people, all Indonesian, were reported to be in extremely weakened condition and said a seventh person, a 50-year-old man, died more than two weeks ago and was tossed overboard.

They told the captain of the Japanese vessel that they were from Morotai, Indonesia, and drifted out to sea after experiencing engine problems.

The survivors - four men, a woman and a 10-year-old child - said they wanted to return to Indonesia, said Keiko Donnafield of Koyoo Pacific Fisheries, the agent for the Japanese vessel Yu Sei Maru No. 8.

Donnafield said the Japanese vessel found the boat, which she said was ``a floating house with engines,″ about 240 miles southwest of Truk Island in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

The FSM is located west of the international date line. Its capital, Palikir, is 1,000 miles southeast of Guam and 2,900 miles southwest of Honolulu.

The junk was abandoned and the survivors transferred to the Japanese vessel, where they were to be taken to Truk Island, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Rountree.

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