WHITBY’S Japan ‘quake victims have told their families “we’re coming home”.
Trapped on a ship since last Friday, Mick Naisbitt (58) and Peter Rees (31) have finally been given the clearance to escape the disaster-torn country.
Mr Naisbitt, of Kirkham Road in Whitby, said: “Pete and a few others were getting off yesterday, but the company has put them into a hotel for the night before they travel to Aomori, up north, where they will have flights booked via Seoul, Dubai, London and then Pete is due in Newcastle tomorrow evening.”
With blizzards now battering the country and eight-foot snow drifts reported, there are no assurances that Mr Rees’ plane will actually leave Japan, but wife Kerry Rees is keeping her fingers crossed she will see her husband very soon: “I had another sleepless night but now I am very relieved.
“I have no idea what I’ll say when I see him, probably ‘You are not going anywhere ever again’.”
Although Mr Rees, of Whitby’s Lilla Close, should be home this weekend, Mr Naisbitt has admitted it may be a little while longer until he returns to his family.
“I’ve decided to stay put, as things are still chaotic across the country.
“If things go well with the chains today (yesterday), I’m fairly confident of getting home within a week.
“My wife, Yvonne, and all my family have been great through this and they fully agree with my decision.”
A veteran of the Merchant Navy, Mr Naisbitt is concerned that once he steps ashore he will no longer be protected by maritime laws and so will be on his own.
He instead plans to wait until the ship is freed and can sail to a safe port where a full crew change is expected and more solid travel arrangements will be in place.