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Samoa sailor begging to come home — claims gov’t abandoned them

Samoa sailor, Puletiu  holds up a paper from his employer
Source: Samoa Global News

Apia, SAMOA — Samoa Shipping Services (SSS) General Manager Lautimuia Afoa Uelese Vaai has responded to a video by a Samoan sailor begging to return home to Samoa.

Puletiu Atoa Taulapapa Pa’õ Sa’ale Lauliliu says in a video that has been widely shared on social media, that the coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of all cruise ship travel, leaving himself and other Samoan sailors around the world jobless and stranded with some facing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Puletiu also claims that the Samoa Government has abandoned them and holds up a letter that he says contains a response from Samoa that they are unable to evacuate them.

He says he is docked near the Bahamas and wants more than anything to be home with his wife, children, parents and family.

He says there are around 400 Samoan Sailors on 17 cruise ships across the world, not including container ships.

“O lea matou te i luga o va’a taitasi mo le silafia e 17 va’a laupasese o loo iai alii va’a Samoa pe tusa ma le 400 ma ona tupu le aofai o alii vaa laupasese lava ia ae lē aofia ai vaa la’u oloa (Container Ships)”

In a TV1 Samoa interview with the General Manager Samoa Shipping Services, Lautimuia Afoa gave his assurance that SSS are in contact with the companies who employ the Samoan sailors on a daily basis, and all are safe and aware of the situation of closed international borders around the world.

Read more at Samoa Global News