An Olympia couple who moved to Libya for work have been unable to find a way out of the country, their son said Tuesday.

Share story

An Olympia couple who moved to Libya for a job have been unable to find a way out of the country, their son said Tuesday.

Ron and Rhonda Servine, who moved to Libya’s capital, Tripoli, in July, have been sharing a home just outside that city with about 50 displaced co-workers for about three days while they try to escape the country’s violence.

“They’re in danger right now,” the couple’s son, Peter Servine, said Tuesday. “There’s chaos in the streets.”

Peter Servine said his parents have tried for three or four days to book commercial flights out of the region, as the U.S. State Department directed, but their flights have consistently been overbooked or canceled.

“They’ve bought multiple tickets on different flights in the hopes that one of them would come through,” said Peter Servine, who is also from Olympia. “It’s not happening. They’re stuck and keep getting turned away.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Libya announced on its website Tuesday that it has chartered a ferry to evacuate U.S. citizens from Tripoli to Valletta, Malta, on Wednesday. Processing of passengers will begin at 10 a.m. local time on a first-come, first-served basis, the website said.

Ron Servine told his son in an e-mail that he and Rhonda Servine will try to board the ferry, although “the port is in the heart of the riots.”

Peter Servine said his father’s employer, AECOM, an international company that helps build countries’ infrastructure, planned to help transport people to the ferry.

Previously, the embassy had told U.S. citizens to contact airlines to book commercial flights.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that several thousand dual U.S.-Libyan nationals and about 600 U.S. citizens are in Libya.

Peter Servine said he tried to contact the State Department twice Tuesday but only reached voice mails. He also called the office of Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and staffers told him they may be able to make some phone calls on his parents’ behalf.

Olivia Bobrowsky: 206-464-3195 or