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Japanese yachtsman safe in Phuket after solo voyage

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PHUKET: Sailing the Pacific Ocean, literally single-handedly with the use of only one arm, solo Japanese sailor Akio Yonago arrived in Phuket earlier this month, more than five weeks after setting off from the Seychelles on a solo voyage in his yacht EMU II.

Mr Akio’s arrival in Phuket on June 8 was a relief to the international yachting community, and many in Japan who had been following the 62-year-old sailor’s travels, as rumors had spread that he had possibly become a victim of piracy.

Concerns for Mr Akio’s safety had grown when contact with the sailor was lost after he departed from the Seychelles on April 28 with plans to arrive in Phuket during the last week of May. Mr Akio explained that his motor had broken down and there was little wind to fill his sails, making his journey take about 10 days longer than expected.

Although the reclusive Mr Akio arrived in Phuket on June 8, his arrival was not made public until June 18, when Second Secretary to the Embassy of Japan Mr Ryuji Iwasaki accompanied Mr Akio at the Royal Phuket Marina to speak to the media on Mr Akio’s behalf.

See the June 27 issue of the Phuket Gazette for a feature on the award-winning sailor’s life and travels.

— Tipwarintron Tanaakarachod

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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