Police confirm two missing person at sea found alive in PNG

The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) confirm that the two missing persons who went missing beginning September 2021 have landed at West New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 3 October 2021.

Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau says, “The two male persons have just landed yesterday at Cape Maso, West New Britain in PNG after drifting for 29 days.”

Commissioner Mangau says, “They are safe and apparently in good health. Both are currently taken for medical check-up and will reside with the ward members awaiting their repatriation to Solomon Islands.”

The two people left Mono in the short lands on a 23 feet Yamaha ray boat powered by a 60-horsepower engine and was travelling on a route through Vella la Vella Island and Gizo to Noro on 3 September 2021. Unfortunately, the boat failed to arrive at Noro.

“The patrol boat Gizo departed to assist the search rescue on 7 September 2021 after receiving information that a boat went missing in the Western Province. Marine Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC) continues to broadcast to all ships and fishing vessels around the search area to assist if they see any boat but fail to locate them,” says Commissioner Mangau.

He says, “Police and other responsible authorities are now working closely with our counterparts in PNG to repatriate them back to Solomon Islands.”

RSIPF would like to remind boat owners and skippers of the importance of sea safety.
Before you travel, please plan your trip properly. Here are some safety points to remember before travelling:

  • Plan your trip and let at least 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 23658 or toll free 933;
  • 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