Religious Family Lost at Sea Is Back in Arizona
Gastonguays face sizable debt after returning home
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2013 2:48 PM CDT
Hannah Gastonguay, holding her baby Rahab, is followed by her husband Sean and the couple's 3-year-old daughter Ardith, as they disembark in the port city of San Antonio, Chile, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Las Ultimas Noticias)

(Newser) – A family that fled the US in search of religious freedom is back home in Arizona instead, facing nearly $20,000 in debt. The Gastonguay family sailed off for the island nation of Kiribati, hoping to avoid what they said was government interference in religion—but storms damaged their boat and they had to be rescued. So they're in Arizona again, owing the State Department $10,000 for flying them home from Cuba, the AP reports.

And they owe another $9,963 to the IRS in back taxes, reports the Arizona Republic. So, why did they flee for Kiribati again? "They say it's the least developed island so I figured undeveloped, less corruption," said Sean Gastonguay, a 30-year-old dad in the five-member clan. Although their boat took on water and the deck separated from the hull—and the vessel ultimately sank—Gastonguay said he believes his family was never in serious danger.

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Showing 3 of 56 comments
HANKHILL
Aug 16, 2013 2:54 PM CDT
and so we get the rest of the story! movie and book out soon!
BugFace
Aug 16, 2013 12:47 PM CDT
Come on guys, just let Jesus take the wheel! It'll all be fine! Sure the boat sank and they had to be rescued, but they were never in any real danger! Obviously! I mean, assuming there is some all powerful master of the universe, I'm sure his/her/its largest concern is some delusional hick and his gang indentured followers... I mean children. It's a good think he's not smart, because otherwise, we might have another cult on our hands.
$28919642
Aug 16, 2013 7:08 AM CDT
"They say it's the least developed island so I figured undeveloped, less corruption," said Sean Gastonguay, a 30-year-old dad WOW! Stupid, much? Undeveloped countries are on fire with corruption. In fact, a good rule of thumb is, the less developed, the more corrupt.