No word yet from Astoria’s wayward sailor, 60-something Russian immigrant Rimas Meleshyus. In late May he set off from Hilo, Hawaii, on his life’s mission, a sail (drift, actually) around the world, but as he neared Fiji, his satellite feed went dead.
His last Facebook post, dated Aug. 3 but actually sent July 30, mentioned that he had been through a strong gale, his tiller was broken and he had no control of the boat in a dangerous current. Worse yet, he hadn’t been able to contact the Fiji Coast Guard.
Now he’s been out of contact for more than three weeks. A recent post on his Facebook page says the New Zealand and Fijian Coastguard and Navy have launched an official search, and Rimas has been declared missing at sea.
One can only hope Rimas landed safely on one of the small islands around Fiji. It’s easy to picture him happily ensconced and enjoying the sun and soft breezes, resting up for his next adventure until he surfaces to tell us what happened on this one.