Soviets to Release ‘Wanderer’ Today
A San Francisco man who strolled into Soviet hands as he walked on the ice between Little and Big Diomede Islands in the Bering Strait was scheduled for release today, the U.S. State Department said.
Earlier, Soviet officials had said John Weymouth would be released Wednesday. “I don’t know what precipitated the change, but they will transfer him on Little Diomede on April 14,” said Deborah Cavin, a State Department spokeswoman.
The Soviets said the 33-year-old San Francisco resident was arrested April 9 for violating their border. Witnesses said Weymouth had crossed the international date line April 2.
Cavin said she was unsure how the transfer would take place. “We haven’t exactly had something like this occur before to my knowledge,” she said.
Weymouth ended up on Little Diomede, off the Seward Peninsula in northwest Alaska, after wandering for months in western Alaska.