THREE MISSING CHUUK FISHERMEN ARRIVE SAFELY

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (January 29, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---A Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia fishing boat missing since Wednesday with three men aboard has arrived safely at Tamatam Island, a part of Pulusuk Atoll.

The vessel was one of three driven off course by heavy rain squalls and six to eight foot seas. The other two returned to Chuuk safely, but the third 19-foot skiff could not be located.

The Chuuk State Search and Rescue Liaison Office reported that the missing vessel beached at Tamatam Island -- 120 miles west of Chuuk -- early Friday morning.

The three crew members - Isajas Rukono, Eiki Suzuki and Estanis Reyes - were weak from hunger, liaison office representatives said, but otherwise in good condition.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson on Guam said the vessel Micro Trader now is enroute to the island Atoll to recover the survivors and return them to Chuuk.

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