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By Bradley Mariori

The immediate families of the 15 people that went missing at Finschhafen waters in Morobe Province on September 26th, 2023 have appealed for information if anyone has sighted them.

The 14 missing people are all from Simbu travelled on a dinghy to attend a crusade in Finschhafen but didn’t reached the destination which prompted search and rescue early this month. To date, they were not sighted along the coast of Morobe.

Spokesperson and Simbu Province former deputy governor Yaldrua Kelaga said, it’s been three weeks since they have gone missing and they are really worried for their safety and well-being.

Mr Yaldrua said they are not satisfied with the search report provided by the Morobe provincial disaster and emergency center but, they understand that they did their best to search the waters of Morobe to locate any evidence of what happened to this missing boat and the passengers on board.

He said from search report, there is no evidence of them capsizing so they must be somewhere and information leading to their whereabouts is really appreciated.

“I appeal to our people from our maritime provinces, coastal villages, and islands including ships, outboard motors, fishermen and anyone if you have any information of our people.”

“I also want another joint search to be conducted again and will appreciate if support can come from Sinesine Yongomulg MP Kerenga Kua, Finschhafen MP Renbo Paita, Chuave MP James Nomane, Gumine MP Lucas Dawa Dekena, Morobe Governor Luther Wenge and Simbu Governor Noah Kool to support our search team because these missing people are from your districts and provinces,” Mr Yaldrua said.

Ward eight councilor Benjamin Kaupa from Tabare local level government expressed similar sentiments and added that to this date, there is no clear evidence and information of these missing people’s whereabouts.

Mr Kaupa said joint search party comprised of Morobe provincial disaster and emergency, Morobe Water Police, National Maritime and Safety Authority, Australian Defence Force and locals has been done but evidence to prove that they have perished in the seas remains unclear.

Thus, they are appealing for information with evidence of their whereabouts so they can be at peace to accept what actually happened to them.

Another family member James Sine said, families of those still missing are grieving because search feedbacks have unclear information as to what really happened.

Mr Sine said they have rewards to thank those that come forward with credible information to locate their missing family members.

If you have any information, knowledge and evidence of the whereabouts of this missing people, contact ward councilor Ben Kaupa on 7349474, Muka circuit president Robert Muka on72318975, Graham Temai on 73673248 and spokesperson Yaldura Kelega on 79878205.

The missing people includes two pastors, an evangelist, a primary school head teacher, East Simbu district youth coordinator, a female youth, nine male youths, the boat skipper and his boat crew.

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