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The Region : Happy, Hungry Boat Survivors Return

Back home after having been given up for lost during a 21-day ordeal adrift off the coast of Sumatra, Rickey Berkowitz and Judith Schwartz were met by a phalanx of reporters at Los Angeles International Airport. Berkowitz said she wanted pizza; Schwartz, potato salad, chopped liver and blintzes. Having enough water to drink was the biggest problem on the sea. “It was actually pretty funny because the first time it rained, it was so hot and we were really, really parched,” Berkowitz said. “Judy . . . said, ‘Rick, lick my back.’ And we were out there licking our arms and legs. But after a while we got the hang of actually collecting the rainwater off the poncho.” The ordeal ended Sunday when the 16-foot boat carrying the 26-year-old Rancho Palos Verdes women and two guides landed on a beach near Bengkulu, Sumatra.


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