Rescuing RIMAS

notforsale

Astoria’s ever more wayward sailor, 67-year-old Russian immigrant Rimas Meleshyus, has turned up yet again, after sailing off without notice from Saipan for Guam around Dec. 10 during his latest attempt at a solo sail/drift around the world. After a long silence, on Feb. 4 he posted on his Facebook that he is safe, and at a hotel in Vietnam.

The Dantri International News reports that on Jan. 17, off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, some Vietnamese fishermen spotted Rimas on his boat, waving his shirt (tinyurl.com/DTIrimas). They’d only been out for three days, and couldn’t turn back yet, so they picked him up and brought him along.

By then, Rimas had already run out of water, and was almost out of food; he thinks he would have died in a few more days if they hadn’t saved him. Rimas was “exhausted and could not move much” after his rescue, but the fishermen took turns nursing him back to health. He is pictured, center, posing happily with his saviors.

The DTI article concludes saying, “Meleshyus will be well cared for before being received by the External Relations Office for further procedure.” Hopefully, that’s not as ominous as it sounds.

Rimas’ boat, the Mimsy, was abandoned when the fishermen took him aboard, as it was leaking, and the rudder failed. Among the things he salvaged were the newspaper stories he’d collected about himself and his ocean travels over the years, his camera, and his navigational equipment. Rimas arrived at the local guard post in Da Nang with his new friends to the “roaring applause of locals,” Tuoi Tre News reports (tinyurl.com/TTRimas).

Despite the probable loss of the Mimsy (his third boat), which is believed to have sunk from the leak, and almost dying, Rimas remains determined to finish his mission, even though his primary sponsor has mentioned that perhaps it’s time to retire on land.

But Rimas is not one to give up. “Sailing around the world will be continued when I am back to America,” he confidently wrote. How he’ll pull it off remains to be seen.

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Daily Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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