Sailor saves starving islanders

British
sailor delivering a yacht from Hawaii to Australia may have been a life-saver
for 24 inhabitants of a remote Pacific island.

Yachtsman
Alex Bond decided to make a stop Sunday at Kanton Island, part of the Phoenix
Islands in the nation of Kiribati, during his trans-Pacific delivery voyage,
according to a release from the British coastguard.

Greeting
him on the island were 24 malnourished residents, including 10 children. They
had been living on only fish and coconuts for two months because a Kiribati
government supply ship that normally brings their food had not been able to get
to the island.

 The island, which is surrounded by several uninhabited
islands, is about 2000 miles from and midway between Hawaii and Fiji in the
Pacific.

Bond
gave the islanders the few supplies he could spare from the yacht and used a
satellite phone to contact the British coastguard station in Falmouth, England,
near his home in Penryn, British authorities said. They contacted U.S. Coast
Guard authorities in Honolulu who are arranging with Kiribati officials on
Christmas Island to get emergency supplies to Kanton, according to the ABC
report.

“So
far, we have been given a shopping list of provisions such as cooking fat,
rice, sugar and flour,” the British coastguard said. “We had no idea of the
trouble they were in when we arrived. The adults were in a poor state and the
children were suffering serious malnutrition,” Bond said.

 “We’re not leaving until I know they are okay.
They are wonderful people,” he told the Packet.

Kanton,
the only island in the Phoenix group with a permanent population served as an
air base for U.S. forces during World War II and later as a missile tracking
station.

0
0

NO COMMENTS