Stranded Singaporean sailor rescued at sea by Fijian navy after Pacific countries shut borders due to COVID-19
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man was rescued by the Fijian navy after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic left him stranded at sea on a yacht, with his food supplies running low.
The 59-year-old man set sail from Singapore three months ago on a three-year boat expedition, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Apr 30).
Events for the sailor took an unexpected turn when countries started closing their borders because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“He soon found himself stranded at sea in the Pacific, with food supplies running low and needing urgent repairs for his yacht,” Dr Balakrishnan said.
But he would soon get help from Fiji.
“Upon receiving the request for consular assistance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reached out to our friends in the Pacific to help the Singaporean,” the minister said.
Dr Balakrishnan added that not only did Fiji answer Singapore's call for help, they went "out of their way to help".
He said: “Having realised that the Singaporean was unable to sail into the harbour on his own due to strong winds and currents, the Fiji navy sent a patrol boat to help bring his yacht to shore safely.
“The support from our Fijian friends for a Singaporean in need is especially heartening during these challenging times.”