10 Aug 2013

Austrian couple grateful to American Samoans for rescue

8:11 am on 10 August 2013

An Austrian couple rescued from their sinking yacht near Rose Atoll have expressed thanks for the kindness American Samoans have shown them.

Christian Ecrhardt and Irene Humer sent out a distress call over the weekend indicating they were preparing to abandon ship 407km east of American Samoa.

The couple had experienced problems with their yacht, including steering difficulties.

They were transported to American Samoa by the local fishing boat Taimana.

Christian Ecrhardt conveyed heartfelt thanks to the fishermen.

"They did a great job and told us during our journey here a lot about the islands and the culture and they were very proud, saying that the Samoan people are always helpful and very kind, and now we see it.. it's obviously true. You have to note that we were in total peril and it was a life-threatening situation. we are now safe and happy to be so."

Christian Ecrhardt says that after they lost all their belongings when they were forced to abandon ship, the couple are debating whether to stay in American Samoa and look for jobs to earn their fares to travel back home.