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Adrift boys were looking for vodka

Three teenagers cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 50 days admitted yesterday that they had been in search of vodka.

The boys, from the New Zealand territory of Tokelau, stole a boat and were believed to be searching for a girl who had gone home after visiting their coral atoll for a sports tournament. But they went the wrong way and were found by a passing trawler naked and weak in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean.

Looking remarkably healthy as they flew home yesterday, the boys confessed that their ordeal was down to drink. "Nah, man, there was no girl, we just wanted more vodka so we made a plan," 14-year-old Etueni Nasau told the Australian Daily Telegraph.

"We were just drunk," he added. "We had heaps of petrol but we went the wrong way."