Two pastors were part of a group of 13 people that fell victim to an attack by sea bandits last week, whilst travelling to Fergusson Island, Milne Bay province.
Anton Salavyov of the International Missionary Society Seventh-Day Adventist Church Reform Movement confirmed that those aboard the vessel were held up at knifepoint.
“And actually there was everything taken from them and after the pirates [had] gone they looked around and found a small mobile and they managed to call people for help,” he said.
Among the 13 people aboard the vessel headed to PNG’s southeast coast was a child.
In PNG, 15 out of the 22 provinces are coastal, about 60% of the population resides on the coast or near rivers suitable for water transportation.
However sea piracy continues to thrive, in and around the coast and inland waterways in the country because there is little to no policing of these areas.
Additionally, restricted resources and a shortage in man power are just a few factors that encourage these illegal activities.
It was reported in August 2016, that a man had been killed whilst out fishing with his brother and three sons just off Ela Beach, at the new Paga Hill Ring Road.
In light of the upcoming 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit security has been a key agenda for all stakeholders involved in putting together such a huge event.
It is only hoped that the flow on effects of the upskilling of PNG’s local police force leading up to the event will allow for more attention to be drawn to areas involving the policing waterways and seas.