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Five men rescued after spending days adrift in South Pacific

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Crew members from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, smile after assisting in the rescue five men who were stranded at sea for four days near Kiribati, July 11, 2015. The men were rescued by the crew of the motor vessel, Shourong Harmony after an HC-130 Hercules air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point spotted the 14-foot aluminum skiff while searching and dropped emergency supplies, 184 miles east northeast of Teraina Island, Kiribati. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Five men are presumably relieved beyond measure Sunday after being rescued from a small aluminum boat with no engine that had been drifting for days in the South Pacific, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

They had been floating since Wednesday far from land in the South Pacific. They were found Saturday, after a search of several days, 184 miles east-northeast of Teraina Island, Kiribati.

Teraina Island is 1,000 miles south of Hawaii. No other major islands are nearby.

Little is known about the men other than that they had left Teraina Island on a fishing trip in a 14-foot boat and failed to return, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The statement said the men left on the fishing trip on Monday but had been “stranded at sea” since Wednesday. The discrepancy was not explained.

At any rate, the men were reported missing Wednesday afternoon, the Coast Guard said.

After several days of fruitless searching, the boat was spotted by the crew of an HC-130 Hercules from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, which is on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The crew of the plane dropped food, water, radios, a location beacon and flares to the men.

They were then rescued by a ship called the Shourong Harmony, a Panamanian-registered cargo vessel.

The Coast Guard said the men were found “in a skiff with no engines, little provisions and no lifesaving equipment.”

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