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Family Escaped Pirates; Details of Ordeal Emerge

Image: Family Escaped Pirates; Details of Ordeal Emerge

In this Nov. 2, 2017, photo released by Brazil's Secretary of State for Public Security and Social Defense, Adam Harteau, right, Emily Harteau, left, and their two daughters, arrive to the international airport in Belem, Para state, Brazil. (Marcelo Lelis/Secretary of State for Public Security and Social Defense via AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 01:20 PM

A U.S. family escaped pirates that attacked their boat in the Amazon River delta area, and details of their harrowing experience are emerging.

Adam and Emily Harteau and their 3- and 6-year-old daughters were lucky to be alive after gunmen boarded their ship and held them hostage for several hours.

Reports on how the family survived the ordeal have emerged, based on information contained in police reports as well as accounts from locals witnessing the scene, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ferry manager Dinei dos Santos found the family on Nov. 1 after they spent three days hiding in the jungle since being ambushed by the pirates.

"They were very, very scared, hungry and covered by insect bites," said dos Santos, per The Wall Street Journal.

According to the report, the armed pirates seized the boat on Oct. 29 and forced the family and crew members into a tugboat. After several hours the Harteaus escaped into the river, using a surfboard to make their way to shore.

Although the family declined to comment to various media outlets, they shared information of their experience to their Instagram account, Our Open Road.

"We escaped on a surfboard and were on the run for our lives until we chose to be spotted by a large passenger ferry on our 4th day in the wilds," the Hartaus posted.

"Our ransacked van remains in Brazil, but we have returned stateside and are in the loving embrace of our family & friends."

We couldn’t be more ecstatic to say that WE ARE ALIVE! . The afternoon of Sunday, October 29th marked the beginning of a gruelling and terrifying 100 hour nightmare. Armed pirates boarded the vessel we were on, taking our family hostage in the remote Brazilian Amazon. We escaped on a surfboard and were on the run for our lives until we chose to be spotted by a large passenger ferry on our 4th day in the wilds. Our ransacked van remains in Brazil, but we have returned stateside and are in the loving embrace of our family & friends. . As we process these traumatic events, we will be looking inward to focus on the healing of our family. . We are so grateful for all of your well wishes in these difficult times and want to relay our love for Brazil, which remains even after the hell we survived. . To the Brazilian authorities and the US Embassy for their recovery efforts and assistance in our safe passage back to the USA: our deepest gratitude will not sufficiently address the mark these kindnesses have stamped in our hearts. We bow in deepest thanks.

A post shared by Our Open Road (@ouropenroad) on

The Wall Street Journal said the family used the surfboard as a float to cross to the opposite bank of the river, located about a mile and a half away.

They then made their way through six miles of thick jungle over the next three days, hiding from passersby they feared may be pirates.

On the fourth day they came across dos Santos’ ferry.

"They climbed onboard and rushed to a corner," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. "I think they only wanted to feel safe."

The New York Daily News noted that the family was relatively unscathed from the incident, suffering sunstroke, dehydration and insect bites.

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A U.S. family escaped pirates that attacked their boat in the Amazon River delta area, and details of their harrowing experience are emerging.
family, escaped, pirates, brazil
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2017-20-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 01:20 PM
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