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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Villagers Rescue Russian Sailors In Asia After 6 Months Adrift

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thai villagers rescued a Russian father and son lost at sea for six months and starving after their yacht struck a rock in the Indian Ocean, a doctor said Wednesday.

The villagers on the southern resort island of Phuket, 690 kilometers southwest of Bangkok, guided the yacht to shore after they saw it floating aimlessly during a heavy rainstorm Sunday.

They rushed Vladimir Medvedev, 44, and Maxim Medvedev, 14, to a local hospital. Both were suffering from dehydration, malnutrition and some skin damage to their hands and feet, said Dr. Naowarat Somnam of Phuket's Kathou Hospital.

She said their conditions are improving and they should be able to leave the hospital in a few days.

The Medvedevs left Russia in August 1995 in an attempt to sail around the world in their yacht. Their last port of call was Cape Town, South Africa, on April 27, 1997. They ran out of gas and lost their supplies and communications equipment after the accident.

"They survived by drinking rain water and eating fish and anything they could catch in the ocean,'' Naowarat said. "They had to eat the fish raw.''

The elder Medvedev, who normally weighs 106 kilograms, now weighs 53 kilograms. The younger Medvedev, who weighed 68 kilograms, was down to 54.