10 May 2004

Samoa PM warns sailors against alcohol abuse

3:54 pm on 10 May 2004

The Prime Minister of Samoa has given a blunt warning about the use of alcohol to a group of merchant sailors heading for jobs overseas

The reminder comes after a Samoan sailor was sent home last week after being jailed in Turkey for drunkenness.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi warned them to be prepared to be sent home and ridiculed along with their families if they get into drunken fights.

Tuilaepa's farewell message to a group of 26 seafarers and their relatives was that alcohol had become the enemy.

The Prime Minister's warning apparently stems from frustration at seafarers being fired for fighting while drunk overseas.

Three were sent home last year for the same reason.

Seafarers applying to work overseas are attracted by comparatively high pay.

However they often face loneliness and other difficulties.