When last heard from, Astoria’s wayward sailor/Kon-Tiki drifter Rimas Meleshyus (pictured, left), after being missing for two months, was rescued from almost certain death in the South China sea in February by some Vietnamese commercial fishermen.
His sailboat, the Mimsy, was wrecked, grounded on a reef. He was out of water, almost out of food and very weak. The fishermen brought him aboard and took turns nursing him while they finished fishing. Upon his return to shore, Rimas was welcomed by cheering locals, and was both happy and grateful. And giving interviews, of course.
But then … nothing. What happened? The normally garrulous Rimas fell silent after his last Facebook post on March 11. Then, about a month ago, unsettling reports that he had been detained in Danang because his visa expired concerned his many Facebook followers. Was he in jail? Was he OK?
Recently, out of the blue, former Seasider Dena Mattox Rush (also pictured) — a missing persons advocate who tried to get Rimas help the last time he was missing at sea — got a Facebook message from Karlo, a volunteer worker in Danang. He heard that Dena was looking for Rimas, and he found him at the Danang Social Support Center, which is essentially a homeless shelter.
Thanks to Karlo, Dena had a chance to talk to Rimas via Facebook Messenger, and she could see for herself that he seems well and safe. He is even being given his preferred vegetarian diet. Even so, Rimas wants outta there, pronto, to get back home to the U.S. — which means he needs to somehow round up a nice chunk of change for travel expenses and visa renewal.
Will Rimas make it back to America? Will he be able to use his considerable powers of persuasion to convince someone to donate yet another sailboat (he’s gone through three already) so he can continue his solo sailing/drifting around-the-world journey? You never know, with Rimas. Stay tuned.