A 49-year-old woman yesterday recalled how she and four others survived on lollies and biscuits during the three days they were adrift at sea in a boat that had taken on water.
"It was scary but I never lost hope," said Bulou Iva Venuki, who was rescued along with three other men last Saturday in waters off Natadola.
The group had left Korolevu on a fibreglass punt and were headed for Vatulele when they encountered strong winds and rough seas.
"We were returning from a shopping trip in Sigatoka. We were close to Vatulele when the strong winds and rough seas filled the boat with water," said Mrs Venuki of Lomanikaya Village.
"The boat was overloaded with groceries and I think this was the reason we ran into trouble," she said.
She said as the water filled the boat, the groceries started drifting away from them.
"The boat captain then told us to throw the remaining groceries out from the boat which we did.
"But I told them not to throw away the lollies and some packets of biscuit because we didn't know how long we would be drifting.
"For three days we were drifting fully immersed in sea water."
Mrs Venuki, boat captain Simione Vitaukitoga, 45, Orisi Ketenalagi, 24, and Tevita Matai,43, are now sheltering at Laselase Village in Sigatoka.
She said her faith in the Almighty God helped her stay calm during the ordeal.
"This is the first time I have come across such an experience and I am fortunate to have survived," said Mrs Venuki.