24 May 2010

Outrigger sailors from Yap safe after being blown off course

4:30 pm on 24 May 2010

Eleven sailors from Yap are recovering in Palau after their outrigger canoe sailed four hundred kilometres off course sparking a search by the United States Coast Guard.

Their boat was one of two canoes which left Guam nearly two weeks ago on a return voyage to Yap.

One vessel made the journey in time but the Coast Guard in Guam started a sea and air search when the second canoe failed to turn up.

Lieutenant Elizabeth Buendia says the search was called off when the lost canoe pulled in to Palau on Friday with all sailors in good health.

She said they had enough food and fishing gear to last the extra week at sea but no emergency beacon or modern technology to help them navigate.