After 3 months stranded at sea, cruise ship worker returns home

DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 19, 2020

Among a group of 322 Guyanese a cruise ship worker has returned to Guyana on Friday after being stuck at sea for 3 months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country’s airports to be closed to international travel.

“It was a very rough experience being at sea and stranded […] It was sometimes challenging,” Nickali Alfred told DPI. The young man is one of the approximately 133 cruise ship employees that engaged the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) for controlled re-entry to Guyana.

Cruise ship worker, Nickali Alfred

Some of passengers that returned on Friday

Still cheerful despite his ordeal, Nickali said, “you got to thank God for every experience so that whenever something like this comes around again, we know how to handle it better.”

Anxious to reunite with his family, he thanked the NCTF for granting him the opportunity to be back in Guyana at this time. “I just want to say thumbs up to our government for allowing us to come home. We really appreciate it very much.”

Though finally away from the cruise ship, Nickali still empathised with his colleagues that are still on board the vessel he departed.

According to the cruise ship worker, “a lot of people are on board and they are just hoping to get home but some of their governments are giving them a very tough time.”

“I wish them good luck and I hope they get home safely,” Nickali added

While the emergency measures have been extended to July 2, the phased reopening of the country’s two main airports to international travel will continue. Part of the phased reopening includes the provision for limited repatriation flights.