7 May 2020

Singapore thanks Fiji for rescuing man at sea for months

4:18 pm on 7 May 2020

Singapore's government has thanked Fiji for rescuing a man stranded at sea for two months in his yacht.

The 59-year-old Singaporean citizen, Wong Tetchoong encountered problems after setting out in early February to sail across the Pacific ocean.

After learning international borders were closing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and faced with currents too strong for him to turn back, Mr Wong sailed eastwards into the Pacific.

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Photo: 123rf

He was denied entry into Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands because of border restrictions.

The Fiji Sun reported he was also denied entry in Tuvalu, but locals provided him with food.

Sailing on to Fiji, his yacht had sustained damages and on 30 April he was rescued by the Fijian Navy.

Singapore's government has thanked Fiji's authorities, saying they did their best in trying circumstances.

The yachtsman's journey originally set off with two of his Indonesian friends who decided to go back home as border closures were announced.

Mr Wong said that on 28 February, his two friends returned home, but indicated he couldn't go further himself because the currents were too strong.

For two months he sailed alone,and spent some time stranded in Tuvalu waters.

When rescued by Fiji's navy, he was taken to the Vuda port in the western part of the main island of the country.

After undergoing several medical examinations carried out by the Fijian health authorities, Mr Wong was discharged on May 2.

He is awaiting for a reopening of the borders to return home.