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Shipwrecked Venezuelan mother died of thirst despite drinking her own URINE while kids survived

Tragic Venezuelan mother saved her two children after shipwreck by BREASTFEEDING them for four days while she drank her own urine before finally dying

  • Mariely Chacon, 40, sacrificed her own life to save those of her children
  • She was left adrift with her kids and their 25-year-old nanny Veronica Martinez
  • Their boat was smashed apart by a wave off the Venezuelan coast
  • Mariely’s husband and the father of the children is still missing
  • Mariely drank her own urine to keep her children alive by breastfeeding them
  • The kids and nanny were rushed to hospital and treated for dehydration and first-degree burns


A mother-of-two died of thirst clinging to the wreckage of her boat after it was destroyed by a wave on a family trip to an island deep in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mariely Chacon, 40, drank her own urine before being found dead after four days adrift 70 miles out to sea with her two children and their nanny – who all survived.

She had breast fed her children – six and two – after their boat was smashed apart during an outing with friends.

They had left Higuerote in Venezuela for the uninhabited Caribbean island of La Tortuga on September 3 on the vessel Thor de Higuerote.

Rescuers found the children holding their mother’s body while clinging to wreckage – while the nanny was inside a fridge where she had taken refuge from the heat.

Five people, including Remis David Camblor, Mariely’s husband and the father of the children, are still said to be missing.

She was left adrift with her kids, found clinging to their dead mum, and their 25-year-old nanny Veronica Martinez for four days in baking temperatures after heading out on a boat trip with family and friends that turned to disaster after a huge wave smashed the vessel’s hull

The nanny was found in a small fridge where she had reportedly taken refuge to stay out of the sweltering heat. The kids and nanny were rushed to hospital so they could be treated for dehydration and first-degree burns

The nanny was found in a small fridge where she had reportedly taken refuge to stay out of the sweltering heat. The kids and nanny were rushed to hospital so they could be treated for dehydration and first-degree burns

They were found adrift four days after leaving Higuerote on September 3 for the island La Tortuga around 56 miles off the Venezuelan coast

They were found adrift four days after leaving Higuerote on September 3 for the island La Tortuga around 56 miles off the Venezuelan coast

Mariely Chacon, 40, sacrificed her own life to save those of her six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter by trying to stave off dehydration so they had a fighting chance of surviving the harrowing shipwrec

Mariely Chacon, 40, sacrificed her own life to save those of her six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter by trying to stave off dehydration so they had a fighting chance of surviving the harrowing shipwrec

The children and the nanny were rushed to hospital so they could be treated for dehydration and first-degree burns.

Officials confirmed Mariely, who died from organ failure caused by dehydration, kept her children alive by drinking her own urine so she could breastfeed them.

A source quoted by newspaper La República said the mother’s vital organs had collapsed because of electrolyte depletion.

Humberto Chacón, the woman’s father, said the boat voyage was ‘simply a family trip to entertain the children’.

Her funeral was on Saturday after officials said her children – Jose David and Maria Beatriz Camblor Chacon – would live despite having PTSD and physical injuries.

The search is understood to be continuing for the missing five people, although hopes of finding them alive is fading fast.

The family left Higuerote in their native Venezuela for the uninhabited Caribbean island of La Tortuga aboard the vessel Thor de Higuerote, an Intermarine 229 leisure boat

The family left Higuerote in their native Venezuela for the uninhabited Caribbean island of La Tortuga aboard the vessel Thor de Higuerote, an Intermarine 229 leisure boat

Five people including Remis David Camblor, Mariely's husband and the father of the children, are still said to be missing

Five people including Remis David Camblor, Mariely’s husband and the father of the children, are still said to be missing

Venezuela’s National Maritime Authority INEA said: ‘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.’

It added: ‘On September 6 at 6.20pm we were alerted to a small white vessel which was drifting off the island of La Orchila that led to the reorientation of the search operation.

‘On September 7 at 2.10pm four people were rescued, two of them children, by coastguard vessel AB Carecare.’

It added in the statement: ‘We share the pain of the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy.’

An INEA official was quoted as saying: ‘The mother who died kept her children alive by breastfeeding them and drinking her own urine.

‘She died three or four hours before the rescue from dehydration after drinking no water for three days.’

He admitted their chances of survival would have been greatly increased if the group had had a radio or GPS or other security devices including flares.

Four of the other five missing people on board the boat are Jose Javier Marcano Narvaez; Alejandro Osorio Graterol; Vianney Carolina Dos Santos Morales and Remis David Camblor, said to have been acting as the boat skipper.

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