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Alaskan Spends Christmas in Moscow, Awaits Deportation

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An American citizen who had mistakenly sailed from Alaska to Russia is reportedly spending Christmas in Moscow’s temporary detention facility awaiting deportation.

John Martin III, 46, was seeking to reunite with his estranged family in China when he washed ashore in an abandoned Far East Russian village in August. A court in Russia’s Chukotka autonomous district found him in breach of immigration rules and ordered him removed from the country.

“The foreigner was escorted to Moscow by plane,” Interfax quoted the Chukotka autonomous region’s Federal Court Marshals Service as saying Tuesday.

A series of Martin’s blog posts detailing his journey claim the court rejected his latest appeal last Tuesday and he was set to be shepherded to Moscow on the next available flight.

Martin will remain in Moscow’s temporary holding center for foreign citizens until he collects the needed travel documents, according to Interfax. Alaska Public Media reports the Anchorage native had his passport revoked over unpaid child support.

The drifter wrote on his blog that a friend had arranged to donate his eight-foot rowboat he had sailed from Alaska to Chukotka to a local museum. In a phone interview with Alaska Public Media, Martin said he plans to publish a book about his journey and use the earnings to pay off child support and get his passport.

“[E]ven once they do deport me, you know, I do hope to reach China,” he was quoted as saying.

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