Heartfelt Wedding at Boysensgarð

Heartfelt Wedding at Boysensgarð

It's a long way from the South China Sea to the Faroe Islands. Chloe was only two years old in 1987 when she was rescued by the late Faroese captain Páll Jensen. Today, she married her American husband, Mitchell, at Boysensgarð in Tórshavn, officiated by Páll's friend, Heðin Mortensen.

Sheena Ngoc Nguyen, known as Chloe, was one of the 212 boat refugees saved by Faroese captain Páll Jensen in the South China Sea, on the voyage between Vietnam and Bangkok, on the maiden voyage of the cargo ship Alice Riis in 1987 when Chloe was just two years old.

The Faroe Islands have a special place in my heart because from there came the man who changed my life forever. I was only two years old when I grew up as a Vietnamese refugee in the USA, and I didn't know about the events until I was older.

My mother was so traumatized by this and couldn't bring herself to tell me about the events until I was grown up. We also had no knowledge of the captain, Páll Jensen.

But fate had other plans and placed a longing in me to find this man, so I could express how grateful I was for him saving me from the distress.

I embarked on a journey to find him seven years ago. With sufficient help and guidance from public authorities and maritime historians, I managed to find the right context," says Chloe, who also visited Svendborg, where Alice Riis was registered. Unfortunately, four out of six of the Danish crew members on Alice Riis had passed away by that time.

I then contacted Páll Jensen's daughter, Rannfrí Vang. From that moment on, my life changed forever. She and her family welcomed me with open arms and became my Faroese family," says Chloe, who calls Rannfrí her "sister."

Now, Mitchell and I were planning to get married, and we decided to marry in Tórshavn. This was not just because we wanted to get married in a beautiful environment but also to bring my husband into the embrace of my newfound family so that we together could celebrate the connection and the love that has changed my life forever.

We are forever thankful for such a precious memory of our wedding ceremony in this very special place, which means so much to us," Chloe said, among other things, in a letter to the mayor of Tórshavn, Heðin Mortensen, who married them both at Boysensgarð this morning.

What Chloe did not know beforehand was that Páll Jensen and Heðin Mortensen were childhood friends. They both lived in Glaðsheiði, attended the same class, and grew up together. And they "hung out together as young people," as Páll's daughter, Rannfrí, put it.

Chloe did not succeed in meeting Páll Jensen. Páll passed away in 2013. But she set out to find his family and visited them in 2017, when she also visited Páll's grave. But this did not mark the end of the story because today she stood as a bride at Boysensgarð and was married to Mitchell, by Páll's friend, Heðin Mortensen, the mayor."

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