EIGHT fishermen from Lautoka are thanking their lucky stars after tourists aboard a boat discovered them drifting near Wayalailai Island in the Yasawa Group yesterday morning.
According to Wayalailai Resort staff member Lanieta Ketedromo, four of the fishermen were found by staff members taking tourists to a popular shark feeding site near the island.
"They found them at around 9am and they were brought back to the resort. We gave them food and fresh clothes while we made efforts to find the other missing fishermen," said Ms Ketedromo.
"After a while, we got another call that two of the missing were resting at a nearby rock just off Wayalailai. We then sent a boat out at around midday today (yesterday) to retrieve the two."
Ms Ketedromo said the two fishermen then relayed the news that two of their fellow divers had gone to retrieve the missing boat.
"They told us their boat had drifted quite a distance from where they were and the two swam after it," she said.
According to police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro, the fishing boat Rosi was carrying the men towards Wayalailai.
She said the eight men aged between 35 and 52 had encountered problems with the boat before swimming to safety.
Ms Naisoro added a police search for the missing fishermen was called off on Tuesday afternoon.