NEWS

Singaporean Thanks Fiji Navy For Saving Him After Two Months At Sea

“I sailed to Papua New Guinea from Indonesia because the weather was okay, but when I reached the borders, they were closed so I continued again to the Solomon Islands; it was also closed, then I went to Tuvalu and they didn’t let me in, but the Tuvalu people provided me with food.
05 May 2020 10:53
Singaporean Thanks Fiji Navy For Saving Him After Two Months At Sea
Singaporean national, Wong Tetchoong, on his ‘Ximula 3’ yacht at the Vuda Marina in Lautoka on May 4, 2020. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

A Singaporean man is grateful to the Fijian Navy and Government for assisting him out at sea after being stranded for almost two months.

Wong Tetchoong, 59, from the Upper Bukit Timah District of Singapore, embarked on his sailing adventure from Singapore on his ‘Ximula 3’ yacht on February 2, 2020.

Mr Wong made plans to travel across the Pacific Ocean with two of his friends from Indonesia but had no idea what awaited him during his journey by sea.

“I left Singapore on February 2, and at that time the coronavirus didn’t start, so I sailed to Indonesia to my two friends. On February 28, my two friends had to go back because their borders were closing, I was alone and couldn’t go into Indonesia because the currents were too strong,” Mr Wong said.

“Ever since February 28, till I reached Fiji, I travelled alone on my yacht to different countries.

“I sailed to Papua New Guinea from Indonesia because the weather was okay, but when I reached the borders, they were closed so I continued again to the Solomon Islands; it was also closed, then I went to Tuvalu and they didn’t let me in, but the Tuvalu people provided me with food.

“With my travels from Singapore to the different islands and then to Fiji, took me almost two months, I was alone.

“After not being accepted into Tuvalu, I had no choice so I came to Fiji. From Tuvalu to Fiji it took me six days and six nights.”

He finally arrived in Fiji in the Yasawas on April 28.

“The autopilot for my yacht was damaged. I couldn’t go anywhere after that. I stayed in the yacht for two days,” he said.

“On April 29, the strong winds were coming and on April 30 in the morning the Fijian Navy came and they brought me to Vuda Marina.

“The health officials came and took me to the Lautoka Hospital, but my body and health was fine. Only my yacht needed attention, I will just focus now on repairing it.”

Mr Wong said he was discharged last Saturday.

He acknowledged the work of the Fijian Navy.

“This is my first time in Fiji, I really like it here. A big thank you to the Fijian Navy and the Fijian Government for coming to rescue me,” he said.

“Because of this, our Singapore news has been running now for two days and now a lot of people know more about Fiji.”

He will return to his wife and two children in Singapore once the borders open.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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