Singaporean man rescued in Fiji after 2 months at sea

Sydney, Australia, May 5 (efe-epa).- A Singaporean man was rescued in Fiji after being stranded at sea for two months in his yacht when he was denied entry into several countries in the South Pacific amid measures against COVID-19.

The rescue was carried out Apr. 30 by the Fijian Navy, after which Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan thanked the South Pacific country’s authorities and tweeted that they were,” doing their best in these trying circumstances.”

The 59-year-old Wong Tetchoong, a Singaporean citizen, set sail from the his country on Feb. 2 with two of his Indonesian friends with plans to travel across the Pacific ocean.

He suffered a first setback on Feb. 28 after his two friends went back.

“On February 28, my two friends had to go back because their borders were closing, I was alone and couldn’t go into Indonesia because the currents were too strong.Ever since February 28, till I reached Fiji, I traveled alone on my yacht to different countries,” Wong told “Fiji Sun” in an interview published on Tuesday.

The authorities of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu did not allow him entry due to the restrictions imposed in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I went to Tuvalu and they didn’t let me in, but the Tuvalu people provided me with food,” he added.

After being stranded in the waters of the Polynesian country, Wong decided to go to Fiji, and he completed the travel in six days and six nights.

Due to several damages suffered by his vessel, Wong was forced to discontinue his journey. The Singaporean arrived in Fiji on Apr. 28 but he was rescued by the Fijian Navy two days later, following which he was taken to the Vuda port in the western part of the main island of the country.

He underwent several medical examinations carried out by the Fijian health authorities and he Wong was discharged on Saturday. So far, 18 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country.

Wong is awaiting for a reopening of the borders to return home. EFE-EPA


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