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News Release

Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin Avenue, Angwin, California USA 94508 Herbert Ford - - 707-965-6625 - 707-965-2047


Angwin, Calif., Saturday, June 28, 2014 ----- Two small, open longboats, having battled 300 miles of sometimes rough seas between Pitcairn Island and Mangareva in the Gambier Islanders since midnight June 26-27, have reached an airstrip at Rikitea, Mangareva, where a seriously ill Pitcairn islander is being transferred to an air-evacuation aircraft that will carry him on a 900-mile flight to a hospital at Papeete, Tahiti.

The boats arrived at Mangareva in mid-morning, Saturday, June 28.

The subject of the emergency evacuation from tiny Pitcairn Island is Brian Young, 60, who is suffering from possible gangrene in his foot as the result of stepping on a thorn some days ago on Pitcairn. Mr. Young's condition is also complicated by diabetes. Like most who live on Pitcairn Island, he is a descendant of mutineers of the famous "Mutiny on the Bounty" sea story.

Accompanying Mr. Young in the effort to reach medical help is the resident physician on Pitcairn Island, and Young's wife, Kari Boye Young, a Norwegian-born former ship's radio officer; and Peter Smith, an on-Pitcairn representative of the island's government office in Wellington.

Two years ago, Mr. Young's brother, Terry Young, died during the 300-mile voyage from Pitcairn to Mangareva and onward flight to Tahiti. Pitcairn Island has no air service or scheduled shipping, and in past years a number of seriously ill Pitcairners have died aboard ship on their way to hospital.

The nearest hospital to Pitcairn Island is at Papeete, Tahiti, some 1,200 miles from the island.


Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504, Email:, Website: