Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the Gizo Police Station in the Western Province have rescued a 32-year-old male person on 20th November 2020 after his fibreglass boat was damaged in rough seas encountered while travelling to Kolombangara Island.
An initial report on the incident said the 32-year old man left Gizo in a fibreglass boat powered by a 15 horsepower Yamaha engine when he encountered high swells between Kolombangara Island and Makuti Island causing damage to his boat. The man managed to travel ashore at Makuti Island and unload his cargo.
Provincial Police Commander Western Province Chief Superintendent Mathias Lenialu says, “The matter was reported to police at Gizo by passengers of another boat who went ashore on the same island due to the rough sea and came across the man.”
“The passengers on the other boat gave the man water and food as he was seen helpless and dehydrated on Makuti island before police arrived to escort him back to Gizo on the police stabi- craft.”
“I call on all OBM owners and skippers throughout the Western Province to adhere to the sea safety warnings and follow instructions given by responsible authorities. Always check the weather by listening to the SIBC or calling the Met Service on the toll free phone 933. Inform your family members or your best friends before you travel and always take with you drinking water and food, “says PPC Lenialu.
All vessels and OBMs travelling in our waters especially during the current cyclone season are reminded of the following:
- Plan your trip and at least let a member of your family know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;
- Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on the toll free 933; or phones 36310 or 24219.
- If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;
- Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;
- Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;
- Do not overload your boat
- Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone, flares and EPIRB;
- Take extra fuel;
- If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat; and
- If you require help at sea call the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685 or the toll free phone 977; or call the RSIPF National Communication Centre on phone 23666 or the toll free phone 999.
Safety at sea starts with you. IF YOU ARE NOT TOO SURE, STAY ASHORE