Friday, March 2, 2007

Former Tulsan Tells Amazing Tale from Mexico

Writer and former Tulsan Mark Singer has one of the best jobs in journalism: he's a staff writer for The New Yorker. Singer gets paid to track down interesting people in out-of-the-way places and tell their stories in what is still one of the nation's best magazines.

Singer, who grew up in Tulsa and graduated from Edison High School here, published an article last month recounting the amazing story of three poor Mexican fishermen who became stranded in the Pacific Ocean for nine months. Unlikely as it sounds, the fishermen left San Blas, Mexico, in a small fishing boat on October 28, 2005. Three (of the original five who started the journey) were rescued by a Taiwanese trawler thousands of miles away near the Marshall Islands on August 9, 2006.

As we said, it sounds highly unlikely. And yet, as Singer explains, the three surviving fishermen were resourceful, eating whatever they could catch and drinking rainwater when they could. They also read a Bible, which one of the men had brought along.

Their miraculous return, after nine months at sea, created a sensation last year in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Many observers were skeptical if not hostile, questioning the story and suggesting that the men had more sinister motives than mere fishing—drug-running, perhaps?

That's probably not the case. But whatever the truth, Singer's narrative kept us up late one night, wondering how this misadventure and rescue came about. It's a good read. You can find it in The New Yorker's Feb. 19 & 26, 2007 issue.

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