Stranded in riot-hit New Caledonia, Patrick is running out of vital medication

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun18,2024
An Australian man is running out of vital medication while stranded in, with fears mounting he and his wife will be left behind.
Adrian Hawkins and his wife travelled from Cairns to the French Pacific territory in early May for a holiday.
They had no idea there were deadly riots or how bad protests were becoming until they drove south towards the capital Noumea and came across road barricades, debris and masked protesters.

“It was a really harrowing experience,” Hawkins told AAP.

The couple returned north for their safety but have been unable to get a timeline from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as to when they will be evacuated.
“(The department) is asking us to stay put and not move. There’s no indication or planning on when we will leave,” he said.
“It is extremely frustrating.”
To make matters worse, Hawkins requires thyroid medication and only has enough to last six days.
“I am completely reliant on this medication and once it starts to run out, I will start to suffer,” he said.
Even if the couple get a call about a repatriation flight, it will take hours to drive through roadblocks to the airport along an increasingly dangerous route.

“If we do get that call, we’re going to have to make the choice and we’re putting ourselves at risk,” he said.

I am completely reliant on this medication and once it starts to run out, I will start to suffer.

Adrian Hawkins

The couple has fears of being left behind.
“At what point will the government turn around and say ‘Well we’re not sending any more repatriation flights’,” Hawkins said.
The federal government has been working with French authorities to plan for more flights to leave the territory, but has been told no more would be able to take off on Thursday.
The government reassured Australians it was prepared to send more evacuation flights pending approval from French authorities.

Hawkins said Australia was doing more to help stranded citizens than other nations, but wished the government had sent more flights earlier and helped in safely transporting those stuck outside the capital.

Evacuees arriving back in Australia

A group of 103 Australians were repatriated from Noumea to Brisbane on Wednesday. Source: AAP / Patrick Hamilton

At least six people have died in riots sparked by France’s decision to allow French citizens who have lived in New Caledonia for more than 10 years to be eligible to vote in local elections.

It has been seen as an attempt to dilute the local pro-independence movement.
A total of 187 Australians and their family members had returned from New Caledonia to Australia, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Wednesday.
A group of 103 people were repatriated to Brisbane on Wednesday, while 84 Australians and 24 others were flown in on Tuesday.

It’s estimated there are about 500 Australians in New Caledonia and about 300 had registered their interest with DFAT in coming home.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Stranded in riot-hit New Caledonia, Patrick is running out of vital medication”
  1. As a person who relies on medication myself, I sympathize with Adrian Hawkins’ situation. It’s concerning that the Australian government hasn’t provided a clear evacuation plan for citizens stranded in New Caledonia. The uncertainty and lack of access to vital medication make the situation even more distressing. I hope a solution is found soon to ensure their safe return home.

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