S'porean man on 3-year expedition rescued after being stranded at sea due to Covid-19 border closures

The man's food supplies were running low, and his yacht required urgent repairs.

Nigel Chua | May 01, 2020, 12:00 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic saw global travel grinding to an abrupt halt, with many countries imposing restrictions on international travel, and planes being grounded en masse as airlines cut costs.

Unfortunately for one 59 year-old Singaporean man, he found himself stranded at sea, somewhere in the Pacific ocean, after countries started to close their borders due to Covid-19.

The man had set sail in his yacht for an expedition that was intended to last three years, according to a Facebook post by Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Man safely ashore in Fiji after MFA renders assistance

As the man's food supplies were running low, with his yacht requiring urgent repairs, he requested consular assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), who approached "our friends in the Pacific" for help.

After hearing about the man's situation, the small island state of Fiji responded and helped to bring the man ashore.

Balakrishnan highlighted in his post that the Fiji navy even sent a patrol boat out to help bring the yacht to shore safely, after realising that it could not sail into the harbour on its own due to strong winds and currents.

The man arrived safely in Fiji in the morning of Apr. 30.

"The support from our Fijian friends for a Singaporean in need is especially heartening during these challenging times," Balakrishnan said.

You can see his post here:

Other cases where MFA worked to rescue Singaporeans stranded because of Covid-19:

Top image via Vivian Balakrishnan on Facebook