5 Dec 2014

PNG drifters discharged from FSM hospital

4:23 pm on 5 December 2014

Two Papua New Guinea men who spent five months adrift at sea in a small boat have been released from hospital in the Federated States of Micronesia.

54-year-old Michael Bolong and 28-year-old Ambros Wavut left Lihir Island in PNG's New Ireland province in July, but ran out of fuel and were caught in a storm.

FSM, Pohnpei

Michael Bolong and Ambros Wavut after being rescued near the Federated States of Micronesia Photo: FSM Public Information Office

They say they survived on rainwater and fish, but a third man, Francis Dimansol, died.

The men were rescued by a FSM-flagged fishing vessel last week, and were taken to hospital in Pohnpei.

The Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the FSM Government, Carl Apis, says the men are now in good health and work is now underway to repatriate them.

"We have provided housing for them and the community is donating food and clothing. Right now, we're working with the government of Papua New Guinea. We've requested for their assistance with the repatriation of the two nationals. We have not got a response yet, but have made the request."

Carl Apis says he hopes to have the men repatriated by the end of next week.