23 Oct 2002

Stranded Fiji sailors to be flown home by the Government

2:35 pm on 23 October 2002

The Fiji Government has agreed to repatriate 16 local sailors who have been stranded in Bangladesh since May.

The Minister of Labour, Kenneth Zinck, says the Government will pay their fares and work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to fly the sailors back home by next week.

The Government action follows appeals from anxious relatives of the sailors.

They were left stranded at the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh when the Sydney based ship carrying copra from Fiji was seized by Bangladesh authorities.

Fiji copra exporting company, Commodity Traders, and the Sydney agents of the ship, the Pacific Emerald, refused to take responsibility for the sailors' return.