The headline on the article sent to me by Jim Banholzer read: Shark Rescues Man Adrift in Pacific Ocean. That I’ve got to read, I thought. Of all the large creatures on the planet, it seems that sharks along with alligators are the least likely to be performing any humanitarian deeds.
So here’s what happened to Toakai Teitoi of Kiribati, a Micronesian island nation 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. He took a two-hour boat ride with his brother-in-law from the capital of Tarawa, where Teitoi had flown to be sworn in as a policeman, to his home in Maiana. But it didn’t work out that way. He and Ielu Falaile stopped to fish en route, and lost track of time. They ran out of gas, and were set adrift on the 15-foot boat with very little water.
They were apparently able to catch fish, but suffered from severe dehydration and Ielu died after a few weeks. Toakai was finally saved after 105 days. He was laying in the boat with his head covered to protect him from the sun when a six-foot shark bumped against the boat, circled it, and swam away. Toakai sat up and saw a ship coming his way with crew members peering at him through binoculars. If he hadn’t sat up, the crew might’ve thought it was an abandoned boat and ship might’ve continued on.
Did the shark intentionally save Toakai? If it were a dolphin, I might say yes. But a shark? I would say it’s more likely a life-saving synchronicity. The shark probably was interested in eating Toakai, not rescuing him. But its actions inadvertently saved his life. Then again, maybe there was an invisible force involved, a non-physical entity who came to the man’s rescue by nudging the shark into action.