THE two overdue mariners who were rescued 65 miles northwest of Rota on Friday entered the CNMI as tourists in 2019 and have been overstaying since then, a source in the federal government told Variety.
Xiao Wei Quin and Yun Liu Red attempted to illegally enter Guam on a 14-foot black Kodiak skiff, the source said, adding that “enormous government resources were used just to look for them.”
Xiao Wei Quin was arrested in 2019 for assault and battery, and he and Xiao Wei are under immigration removal proceedings, the source added.
The search for the two began on July 21.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the spouse of one of the two mariners had informed the Department of Public Safety that the two left Saipan for Guam on July 18, and the last text she received from her husband stated that he could see Guam.
Sector Guam watch standers issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and deployed assets to search the area, while also coordinating with local and federal partners, including land searches on Guam, the Coast Guard said.
On July 27, the Coast Guard said it had suspended the active search for Xiao Wei Quin and Yun Liu Red.
On Saturday, July 31, the Coast Guard said it was “made aware that two mariners, Xiao Wei Quin and Yun Liu Red, were recovered 65 miles northwest of Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by the merchant vessel Mito earlier Friday, July 30.”
The Coast Guard later tweeted: “Saipan Boating Safety have safely transported the two mariners…off the merchant vessel Mito and into Smiling Cove, Saipan.”