Wednesday 11 December 2019

Marooned family faces a diet of turtles for six months

Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

AN AUSTRALIAN family faces six months of living on turtle and sleeping rough after they were stranded on a tiny Pacific island.

The Barrie family, from north Perth, Western Australia, were on a two-year sailing trip around the Pacific when their boat struck a reef off the Micronesian isle of Mogmog in heavy winds and was practically destroyed.

Andrew Barrie (47) his wife Jennie (43) and two daughters Diana (12) and Shannon (10) have taken refuge on the island in the Ulithi atoll.

They said the 200 islanders lived "very, very traditionally".

Mr Barrie, a former pilot, said he would not leave the island, which has no electricity or running water, until he had repaired the boat, even though it was "a write-off". He estimated that the project would take six months.

Mr Barrie and several islanders had already tried to retrieve the boat four times. Speaking on a satellite phone, Mr Barrie told the media that his boat was caught in a cyclone at sea with winds of up to 110mph.

The catamaran, Windrider, drifted for 12 hours before it came to rest on the reef.

The boat was damaged by a metal structure left behind by the Americans after the Second World War.

Mr Barrie's family has appealed to other sailors to check on them to see if are ever in need of medical supplies.

The family set off in June and had originally planned to return next February. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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