Moscow: American held in Russia after arriving in rubber boat

A lost U.S. boater from Alaska was hospitalized in Anadyr, Russia, this week after officials say he became disoriented by bad weather and ended up at Russia's eastern cost. Photo courtesy Anadyr, Russia, Administration

Aug. 4 (UPI) — An American boater has been detained by Russian border guards after he traveled in a small rubber boat from Alaska to Russia’s eastern coast, officials said Friday.

The Russian government identified the man as 46-year-old John Martin. A source told Russia’s state-run Tass news agency Martin accidentally got lost at sea after traveling from Alaska’s Yukon River.

According to the report, Martin arrived in Russia’s Chukotka region Wednesday and authorities took him to shore and questioned him. The received medical treatment in the village of Lavrentiya, on the sparsely populated coast, and was taken to Anadyr.

Alaska and Chukokta are separated by only 55 miles at their nearest points.

“About two weeks ago, he decided to take to the open sea. Due to inclement weather and because he lacked navigation equipment, he spent several days in the open sea,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Friday. “This is how he ended up in the Russian Federation.”

Zakharova said Martin is in “satisfactory” health. The U.S. consulate in Vladivostok said it is providing assistance.

“We know about this situation. We are working with local authorities and are providing the U.S. citizen with consular services,” a consulate spokesperson said.

Martin did not request political asylum, the Tass report said.


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