VOYAGING CANOE BOUND FOR PULUWAT, FSM DELAYED BY STORM FOUND ON DESERTED

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By Theresa Merto Pacific Daily News

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (July 4, 2001 – Pacific Daily News)---The U.S. Coast Guard located a delayed voyaging canoe and its passengers yesterday afternoon on a deserted island, said spokesman Lt. Lee Putnam.

The canoe was expected to arrive a few days ago at Puluwat, which is an atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia, Putnam said.

"There was some concern because they were a little late," Putnam said.

Tropical Storm Utor, which was centered 120 miles west of Guam yesterday afternoon, delayed the voyage of the canoe.

The Coast Guard was notified Sunday that the men had not reached their destination. A C-130 aircraft searched for the boat during the past few days and located the canoe at 1:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

The crew of the aircraft dropped a radio to the boat and learned that the men were well, the release said. The men explained that they were delayed by the storm and they expected to reach Pikelot Island last night.

Pikelot Island is located in the northeast corner of Yap State, and is a traditional stopover during this type of journey.

A second group of men stranded by the storm was located by the C-130 on West Fayu Atoll in Yap state. The release said that the men made the journey to the uninhabited fishing ground from Lamotrek Atoll. The storm forced them to remain on the atoll longer than expected.

Journey

A Coast Guard release said the canoe left Saipan June 24 with eight men on board, part of a team that sailed two traditional Micronesian sailing canoes from Puluwat to Guam last month, the release said.

The University of Guam's Seafarers Club sent the canoes Quest and Hala metaw from the Hagåtña Channel to Saipan June 6, according to Pacific Daily News files.

A few days after reaching Saipan, the Hala metaw was scheduled to return to Puluwat. The Quest was scheduled return to Guam late last month.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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