Herbert Ford, 559-592-0980, 559-732-0313.
PITCAIRN BOATS HOME AFTER SUCCESSFUL RESCUE
ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., June 30, 2014—After having made a 310-mile high seas voyage in small, open boats from Pitcairn Island, South Pacific Ocean, to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands to carry a seriously ill islander to the airstrip at Mangareva from where he was transported onward by air ambulance to a hospital in Tahiti, the two longboats are now(at 2 p.m., local time) battling strong headwinds, going at 8 knots, with 258 miles yet to go to reach Pitcairn.
The two 45-foot aluminum boats are taking water from breaking seas, but those on board - three islanders in one boat, five in the other - are reporting no serious problems. The two boats are named after two Pitcairn governors, Moss and O'leary.
The boats departed Mangareva at 9:30 local time this morning, and their arrival at Pitcairn is totally "at the mercy of the sea."
Starting at just before midnight last Friday night, the boats began the voyage to Mangareva to carry islander Brian Young to the airstrip at Mangareva. He was suffering from an worsening infection of his foot caused by his having stepped on a thorn a couple of weeks ago.
The Pitcairn boats arrived at the Mangareva airstrip at 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, June 28. Young, along with his wife, Kari, and a Pitcairn government official boarded the rescue flight to Tahiti.
As of earlier today, Young was reported resting comfortable in the hospital, awaiting surgery on his foot.