Herbert Ford, 559-592-0980, 559-732-0313.
PITCAIRNERS USING SMALL OPEN BOATS IN 300-MILE HIGH SEAS RESCUE OF SERIOUSLY-ILL ISLANDER
PITCAIRN ISLAND, SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN, February 13, 2014—Two small Pitcairn longboats are now (11:20 a.m., June 27) just over 12 hours into a two-day open-boat rescue mission to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, and then an onward air rescue flight to Tahiti in an attempt to save the gangrenous foot of Pitcairner Brian Young.
The boats left Pitcairn Island for Mangareva, the closest airstrip to Pitcairn, at 11:30 p.m., June 26.
The reason Pitcairn longboats are being used for the rescue is because there was no marine traffic within many hundreds of miles from the island on June 26.
Some days ago, Pitcairner Brian Young drove a thorn into his foot while walking on Pitcairn (a few of the Pitcairners do not use shoes except for formal occasions). Though treated with antibiotics, the wound has not responded to the treatment, and two toes of Mr. Young's foot have turned black and it appears gangrene might have set in.
Accompanying Mr. Young in one of the longboats is the Pitcairn Island doctor, and Young's wife, Kari Boye Young.
When the longboats left Pitcairn Island last night the winds were calm, but weather reports were forecasting unfavorable winds today (the 27th). It is not known whether the longboats have been in contact with Pitcairn Island after leaving the island, but it is reasonable to assume that they have, there being amateur and other radio equipment aboard the boats. Kari Young, is a Norwegian-born former ship's radio officer, and others aboard the boats are trained in both amateur and VHF radio.
Additional dispatches follow as available.