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Regular field trip to Chuuk postponed; MV Micronesian Navigators leaving Pohnpei on Aug. 8

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PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On August 5, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, responding to a request from Henry S. Falan, governor of the State of Yap, confirmed that the MV Micronesian Navigators will delay its regular field trip to Chuuk State to instead provide immediate assistance to citizens stranded on the MV Hapilmohol-1 or H-1, which is presently located in Woleai Atoll.

The H-1, which was conducting a routine “student run” to escort children and families to their homes in preparation for the new academic year, has suffered from issues with its generators. The passengers on the H-1 are safe but operating the H-1 in the open ocean could potentially risk the safety of the FSM’s citizens onboard.

“After consideration of the nature of the problems with the generators,” Governor Falan said in his letter to the president, “and the possibility of total failure of both generators on its way back in open water, the ship being low on fresh water to cool the engine and serve the needs of its passengers and crews…we have no other alternative but to request for a backup vessel [to provide] urgent assistance.”

With the MV Caroline Voyager presently inoperable, the only vessel the FSM national government has in its possession that can presently accommodate the request from Yap State is the MV Micronesian Navigators. Thus, President Panuelo has instructed the Department of Transportation, Communication & Infrastructure to postpone its regular field trip schedule to Chuuk so that it may respond to the needs of the H-1 and the FSM’s citizens onboard.

“The Micronesian Navigators is now preparing to depart Pohnpei, heading straight to Woleai, on Aug. 8,” President Panuelo wrote in his response.

The expected arrival date of the Micronesian Navigators in Woleai is Aug. 12, 2020.

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