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Six teens were discovered after spending 15 months shipwrecked on uninhabited island
Featured Image Credit: John Carnemolla/YouTube/Docastaway - Desert Island Experiences

Six teens were discovered after spending 15 months shipwrecked on uninhabited island

The island became the location of a real life Lord of the Flies situation

Six teenagers were left in an extraordinary situation when they were stranded on an island together.

Many of us may wonder how we would react if we found ourselves stranded on an island away from the world.

Most of us would miss our family and friends, though maybe some of us would relish no longer having to be a part of our highly dysfunctional society, to put it mildly.

But for six teenagers this scenario became more than just a fantasy when they found themselves shipwrecked on an island together.

John Carnemolla

The oldest among them was Sione Fataua who was just 17 years old when he and his friends were stranded, and was convinced at first that they wouldn't survive.

In 1965 Mano Totau was among the six teens who were bored of studying at their school in Tonga.

Deciding to go on an adventure, they stole a traditional whaling boat and set off for Fiji, just under 500 miles from Tonga.

They had set off without a map or a compass, and despite being brought up on the sea, the group quickly realised that they had made a terrible mistake.

Their boat was caught up in a violent storm, destroying the sails and leaving them adrift for eight days.

The castaways returned to the island to visit.
John Carnemolla

After the agonising wait, they spotted land and were washed ashore on a volcanic island.

At first they were able to survive by fishing and raiding the nests of seabirds, drinking their blood and eating the eggs raw.

Once they had recovered some strength they were able to climb onto the island's main plateau, which completely changed their situation.

They realised they were on 'Ata, a tiny speck of land.

When they reached the plateau, the boys found an old clay pot, a machete, and some chickens which had been left by a small Tongan community.

This community had lived on the island before being kidnapped and trafficked into slavery.

From there, their story could not be more different from Lord of the Flies, which sees the fictional group splitting in two culminating in murder.

They would pass the time sculpting or crafting musical instruments.
John Carnemolla

Rather than descending into a dystopian nightmare, they worked together.

The teens kept a fire going, built themselves a hut out of fronds, and even constructed a small gym. They also had lookout duty to search for passing ships.

If there was any conflict, the rule was that those involved would walk to opposite sides of the island until they cooled off.

After fifteen months of being stranded, the group was finally rescued.

Their story of co-operation and survival was picked up by Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, who wrote a book placing this real world example of survival against the fictional story of Lord of the Flies.

Bregman argued that it showed that the notion of society as a protection against some sort of inner savagery is wrong, and that humans are instinctively co-operative, rather than selfish.

As to how they survived, Sione had no doubt, telling CBS: "I think the culture where we come from. We are close. Really close family. We share everything. We poor, but we love each other."

Topics: News, World News