Stranded couple talk to The Project
A FORMER Clarence sailing champion and her husband trapped in Peru have pressed their case for assistance on national television.
Gabrielle and Matthew Ryan appeared on Channel 10’s The Project on Tuesday describing the “brutal” situation they found themselves in after a charter flight left Peru without them.
The pair have been stuck in the country since the Peruvian Government enacted strict lockdowns in mid-March.
“Peru is in total lockdown and private vehicles are banned from roads,” Ms Ryan told The Project.
“We had no way of getting to Lima to get the flight and the Australian Government was unwilling to organise the necessary permissions to make that transfer.”
Ms Ryan has been vocal in her criticism of the Australian Government’s handling of the situation and said they felt other national governments were doing better at assisting their citizens out of Peru.
Yesterday, the Australian ambassador to Peru Diana Nelson said after the first flight had landed in Sydney her “singular focus” was on assisting those who remained in Peru.
She said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had contacted Australians registered in the country to find out if they wanted to leave on the next available flight.
“Our DFAT embassy team is on deck and working hard on the next arrangements.
“I know you are all very anxious for details on further flights and we will provide that information to you as quickly as we can.”
Ms Nelson’s advice to people stuck in regional and rural areas of Peru, like Mr and Mrs Ryan, was to stay where they were if it was safe to do so.