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Cruiser Attacked in South Pacific

Cruiser Jim Van Cleve of Kalokalo, type of boat and hailing port unknown, was attacked by two men while anchored off Suva, Fiji, at 11 p.m. on January 25.

According to reports from people on boats near Kalokalo, two men armed with at least one cane knife confronted Van Cleve in the cockpit and then attacked him. He received severe lacerations on one hand in the course of defending himself. Initially doctors weren’t sure if they’d be able to save the thumb on his injured hand. Several days later a photo was posted of Jim giving a ‘thumbs up’ in the hospital, so presumably his thumb has been saved.

Authorities report they have apprehended one of the two attackers, and believe it’s only a matter of time before they catch the second one. It’s unknown if Van Cleve knew the attackers or had had any contact with them before.

Fiji has always been considered to be very safe for cruisers, and attacks such as the one on Van Cleve are all but unheard-of.

Cruiser Meri Virtanen Faulkner has established a GoFundMe campaign for Van Cleve’s hospital and rehabilitation costs. It can be found here.

“Jim is in good spirits despite the horror of the attack,” reports Meri. “He should be out of the hospital by the time everyone reads this, and has asked me to thank everyone for their support and very generous donations.”

Currently there is no means of contacting Van Cleve directly.

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In Saturday’s Three Bridge Fiasco, a trio of counterclockwise boats rounds their first ‘bridge’ at Yerba Buena Island.