A brave mother has gone to extreme lengths and ultimately sacrificed herself to give her two children a fighting chance of surviving a harrowing shipwreck.
Mariely Chacon, 40, drank her own urine to have enough energy to breastfeed her six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter while they drifted for four days in the searing sun across the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. Sun reports.
Tragically, the Venezuelan didn’t survive. Rescuers found the children clinging to their dead mother's body on the remains of the vessel, suffering from dehydration and first-degree burns.
Five others still missing after shipwreck
The family had been enjoying an outing with friends when a huge wave smashed the boat’s hull.
They left Venezuela for the uninhabited Caribbean island of La Tortuga on September 3 but never made it, sparking a major rescue operation.
Venezuela’s National Maritime Authority INEA said in a statement: "On September 3 at 9.30am a pleasure boat called Thor left Higuerote for La Tortuga Island with the return scheduled for September 5.
"Port authorities were informed on September 5 around 11pm it had failed to reach its destination or returned to the location it had left from and a search operation was launched."
Their nanny was also found alive – she survived the ordeal by hiding in a fridge to escape the sweltering temperatures.
The kids and nanny were taken to hospital but five others – including Ms Chacon's husband and the children's father Remis David Camblor – are still missing.
The U.S. Sun reports officials confirmed Ms Charcon, who died from organ failure caused by dehydration, kept her children alive by drinking her own urine so she could breastfeed them.
The search is understood to be continuing for the missing five people but authorities are losing hope of finding them alive.
A spokesperson for INEA said their chances of survival would have been greatly increased if the group had had a radio or GPS or other security devices including flares.
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