Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Missing Pohnpeian Fisherman Drifts to Shore in Palau

Koror, Palau (FSM Information Services): August 2, 2010 - On the morning of August 1, 2010, President Mori received a phone call from Pohnpei Director of Public Safety, Lucas Carlos, informing him that a fisherman claiming to be from Pohnpei had been found on a reef a few miles out from Koror. Carlos explained the fisherman was receiving medical care at the Belau National Hospital in Palau. The facts revealed that Joseph Murphy Simeon, born on December 28, 1965, from Pohnpei, had encountered engine difficulties with his boat when he went out fishing one day during the first week of May 2010. His boat drifted across the Pacific Ocean for over two months before finally landing on the Palauan reef.

Mori and his staff, met with Simeon at the hospital. Simeon was dehydrated, sunburned and extremely emaciated. He told the President he had survived by drinking rain water and eating birds, or the occasional fish. Mori expressed his thankfulness that Simeon had finally been found, a miracle after so many months at sea; in parting, he personally assisted Simeon with the financial means to purchase clothing, toiletries and hotel accommodation in Palau.

During his two month drift, Simeon encountered long liners, purse seiners and merchant ships in the distance, but was not successful in getting their attention. A rescue-search operation by the FSM Coast Guards and many local Pohnpeian volunteers had been organized back in May, to locate Simeon, but the operation had obviously failed.

Simeon, married with children, flew back to Pohnpei on August 2, 2010, via Guam. Gerson Jackson, Consul General of the FSM in Guam, processed a Travel Certification Letter from the Consulate, addressed to Continental Airlines and the U.S. Immigration Services to authorize Simeon's entry into the U.S. territory without a passport.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356