Lost at sea in 2001 over 16 people thought that the end was near, all trapped on a small vessel that was being dragged around the ocean’s currents. However, 16 people were able to cheat death by drinking a mother’s milk. The people were completely lost at sea, starting to starve, their throats were dry and they were coughing up blood. As the story goes, they were at the stage where they could barely talk.
Then a mother by the name of Faustina Mercedes from Puerto Rico stepped up to the plate and shared her breast milk. As she had a small daughter at home, she was still breastfeeding. Now they are calling her the Little Angel of the Sea due to her heroism. The eight men and seven women suckled briefly, just a few seconds each day. The tiny gulps allowed their throats to stay humid and wet their extremely dried lips.
After twelve days, the currents started to push them back towards the shore and they were saved. To feed herself it was even more complicated, Faustina needed her sister to suck on her breast and then pass the milk to her by mouth. Since the ordeal, she has no longer been able to breastfeed but her amazing gesture was able to keep 16 people alive.
Many of Dominicans end up completely lost at sea when trying to reach Puerto Rico. The passage is filled with sharks and known as the Mona Passage, it is only 100 miles long which is why people risk it. Just the same week that Faustina was saving her group, another small boat that was already in need of repairs, broke to pieces and sank. In that voyage, the people were not as lucky and are believed to have all drowned.
After paying nearly two month’s salary to board the homemade boat, they soon realized their compass was broken. When the currents became rough in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, they were pushed out of their route and became lost. Every hour the group’s dehydration grew worse and after three days there was no longer any food. Faustina first offered some breast milk to her sister and she immediately felt better.
This is what led to her offering the rest of the group breastmilk. When they finally made it to shore, they realized they had not even made it to Puerto Rico and had been blown back to the Dominican Republic.