Police officers rescued by HAMS Ararat after went missing in Western Province

Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) base at the common border between Solomon Islands (SI) and Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the Shortland Islands were rescued by HAMS Ararat, an Australian Navy after they went missing on 20 May 2022.

The RSIPF officers with some civilians went missing after they left Gizo for some administration run. On their way back to Kulitanai Police Station they had some problem which is currently under investigation to determine what is the cause of the problem.” 

Assistant Commissioner (AC) National Operation Everlyn Thugea says, “The stabbi left Gizo and did not arrive at Kulitanae Police Station as expected. Police Response Team stationed at Taro, Kariki and Harapa went out to do an initial search till late night but still no sighting of the missing stabbi craft.”

AC Thugea says, “In the morning on 21 May 2022 the search rescue continued until late in the afternoon when the missing stabbi craft was tracked and rescued by an Australian Navy vessel.”

Thugea says, “Information was sent to the Australian HMAS Ararat and they picked up a signal from the stabbi craft and managed to rescue the drifted stabbi 12 Southeast nautical miles outside of Pirumeri Island in Shortland Islands.”

She says, “I want to acknowledge and appreciate the continued assistance and great support from Australia with the help of HAMS Ararat. Your help has saved many lives. I would also like to thank stakeholders like Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC), Heli Support and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) for your support in search and rescue for our missing officers.”

“I would like to extend my appreciation to our Police officers who have been working tirelessly in carrying out the search and Rescue till the missing stabbi was safely arrived at the Kulitanae Police Station,” says AC Thugea.

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