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US man deported by Russia after washing ashore in small dinghy

Dinghy at sea. (Pixabay/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A 47-year-old U.S. man who attempted to sail from Alaska to China in a small dinghy with scant provisions has been deported by authorities in Russia’s Far East, where he washed ashore five months ago.

John Martin was returned this week to Washington and told The Anchorage Daily News that he plans to be back in Alaska by the weekend of February 2-3.

Martin, from the city of Kenai in Alaska, attempted his journey with a bucket of salmon bellies, bread, water, and a jug of grape juice to sustain him.

He spent 11 days at sea before washing up on shore in Russia’s Far East at a fish camp near the tiny village of Lavrentia.

“Well, I was trying to reach China. Of course, I didn’t make it,” he told Alaska Public Media.

He was flown to Anadyr, the administrative capital of Chukotka, in Russia’s Far East.

Martin said he was trying to meet up with his wife and child in China when he set out in July from an Alaskan village about 500 miles west of Anchorage.

He planned to sail across the Bering Strait and along the coastline until he was near a small slice of Chinese territory between Russia and North Korea.