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U.S. family dives into Amazon River to escape pirates

Emily Harteau was formerly a contestant on ‘Project Runway’

An American family from California made a death-defying escape from a cargo ship that had been attacked by pirates, swimming to shore where they hid out for three days, eating bugs and plants.

The New York Post reports that Adam Harris Harteau and his wife Emily Harteau along with their two young daughters were aboard a cargo ship sailing the Amazon between the Brazilian cities of Belem and Macapa on October 29 when a band of pirates raided the ship.

According to ABC News, the couple and their daughters, six-year-old Colette and three-year-old Sierra, hid in their room for about 10 hours while the pirates were looting the boat. At a certain point, having reportedly been threatened by the pirates and noticing that the boat was still moving, the family decided to escape the ship.

The Harteaus reportedly put their two young daughters on a surfboard and swam to shore. According to ABC News, the details of the escape, told to Brazilian authorities, was not yet clear.

The family reportedly hid on land for 72 hours, eating fruits and insects they found, before they spotted a police boat searching for them. The Harteaus and their children did not appear to suffer any serious injuries in the ordeal.

The adventurous clan has an active following on their Instagram account, where they share photos and updates from their travels. Emily Harteau was a contestant on the 2008 season of the Bravo reality show Project Runway.

[Feature image: Instagram/EmilyHarteau]