There are no boats near the island with a capacity to take the migrants to Costa Rica, the authorities said.Cocos Island is believed to be the world's largest uninhabited island. "Incredibly, it seems that the boat's crew took the equipment and so these people, who had no sailing experience, wrote the message and placed it inside a bottle," he said.The Costa Rican government says it has contacted the governments of Ecuador and Peru in the hope they will send boats to the island to pick up their nationals. The island is closer to the Ecuadorean Galapagos Island chain than it is to mainland Costa Rica. It was later that evening that the fishing boat's captain noticed the bottle and the migrants' plea for help.
Their message read: "Help, please help us."The migrants, mainly teenagers, were eventually rescued on Sunday morning by MarViva, a group which works to preserve Cocos Island. They were being cared for on the island yesterday while the Costa Rican public security ministry dispatched a boat with a doctor, immigration officials and emergency food supplies.Francisco Estrada, director of MarViva, said that the crew of the vessel, professional people smugglers, had taken all the communication and navigation equipment when they abandoned the migrants. But when their boat developed mechanical troubles, the crew changed over to another ship and abandoned their human cargo to drift without power or communications.The drifting vessel was spotted by a passing fishing boat, Rey de Reyes, close to Cocos Island, 300 miles south-west of the mainland of Costa Rica.The fishermen contacted the Costa Rican authorities but the coastguard's boat was reportedly unavailable to put to sea. Later that evening the captain of the boat noticed the bottle and contacted rescuers who reached the migrants as their boat was beginning to sink."A little bit longer and all would have died," Patricia Alpizar, a spokeswoman for Costa Rica's environment ministry, said.The migrants had apparently left the Ecuadorean port of Puerto Monta? early last week with the intention of illegally entering the US, possibly through Guatemala. Adrift and abandoned at sea with their boat's engines no longer working, more than 80 Latin American migrants were saved after resorting to that old fall-back - a message in a bottle. It is not just that speculation is at fever pitch that Hillary will try to secure a second term in the Senate next year and will almost certainly then run for the presidency in 2008.
There is also this: what about a third President Bush? Or, to be more precise, what about President Laura Bush?The gossip about Hillary is far from ludicrous. Unlike when she ran in New York in 2000, she is keeping options open for 2008. Meanwhile, a CNN-USA Today poll issued last week showed a majoritysaying they would vote for her if she makes a run for the White House.The Laura stories are a bit harder to take seriously. It is true, though, that recent weeks have seen her taking an unusually high profile - wowing the audience at a White House press dinner with well-aimed jokes and representing her husband on a tour last month of the Middle East. We also know that the first lady is popular with voters, although very few of them.That, apparently, is not beyond the imagination of everyone. Thus it was that a few nights ago Lynne Cheney, the wife of the Vice-President, made a surprising remark in an interview with CNN's Larry King.