22 May 2003

US coast guard finds missing canoe bound for Yap

10:45 am on 22 May 2003

A United States Coast Guard plane has found a 13-man crew aboard a traditional canoe which was missing for two weeks.

The 34 foot canoe had left Palau for Yap on May the 7th with modest provisions and was led by Pius Mau Piailug, a 71 year old known for teaching Polynesians to sail by using the stars and winds.

The 250-mile trip was expected to take a few days.

The Chief of Staff for the Palau President, Billy Kuartei, says slack winds made the going tough and that emergency personnel found a crew without water and exhausted.

The crew were given emergency supplies so that they can finished the sailing trip.

The trip was sailed between two villages that controlled travel between Palau and Yap before the colonial era.

The aim of the canoe trip was to revive traditional navigation and sailing techniques in Palau.