Mariely Chacon, 40, sacrificed her own life to save her six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter after being struck at sea.
The boat trip turned into a disaster after a huge wave shattered the hull of the ship and left a piece of the wreckage and a refrigerator floating off with the mother, her nanny and two children on board.
Rescue teams are still looking for five more people missing at sea after the boat trip from Venezuela to the Caribbean ended in disaster for the group of family and friends.
Weakening Mariely fought to avoid dehydration so that the children had a chance to survive the heartbreaking ordeal.
But rescuers found the two children alive, but severely sunburned and dehydrated, still clinging to their deceased mother.
They also found the children’s 25-year-old nanny, Veronica Martinez, who allegedly took refuge in a refrigerator on the boat to survive four days at sea in sweltering temperatures.
Authorities said the mother died of dehydration just hours before rescuers found the survivors.
The group of nine had left Higuerote in their native Venezuela for the uninhabited Caribbean island of La Tortuga off the country’s northern coast on September 3, but never made it.
Their disappearance sparked a rescue operation which led to the discovery of three of the survivors on an improvised lifeboat and their transfer to hospital.
Five people including Remis David Camblor – Mariely’s husband and father of the children – are still reported missing.
The children and the nanny were rushed to hospital so that they could be treated for dehydration and first degree burns.
Authorities have confirmed that Mariely, who died of organ failure caused by dehydration, kept her children alive by drinking her own urine so she could breastfeed them.
Her funeral took place on Saturday after authorities confirmed her two children, named Jose David and Maria Beatriz Camblor Chacon, would be doing well despite being believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries.
The funeral was streamed on YouTube so that relatives and supporters can follow them online due to Covid restrictions.
Venezuela’s National Maritime Authority, INEA, said in a statement: “On September 3 at 9:30 am, a pleasure boat called Thor left Higuerote for the island of La Tortuga with a return scheduled for September 5.
“The port authorities were informed on September 5 at around 11 pm that she had not reached her destination or had returned to the place from which she had left and a search operation was launched. “
He added: “On September 6 at 6:20 pm, we were alerted to a small white vessel drifting off the island of La Orchila, which led to the reorientation of the search operation.
“On September 7 at 2.10 p.m., four people were rescued, including two children,
by the coastguard vessel AB Carecare.
“We share the pain of the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. “
An INEA official acting as a spokesperson for the organization said: “The deceased mother kept her children alive by breastfeeding them and drinking her own urine.
“She died three or four hours before the rescue from dehydration after not drinking water for three days. “
He admitted that 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 five other people missing on board the boat were named Jose Javier Marcano Narvaez; Alejandro Osorio Graterol; Vianney Carolina Dos Santos Morales and Remis David Camblor, are said to have acted as skipper of the boat.