9 people were saved near waters off Emirau on Sunday the 14th of July after the New Ireland Government was alerted. The rescue was made possible through the Government fast boat “ Autonomy” which had left Kavieng with ADI patrol officers around 8:30 that morning for Mussau.
The 9 survivors were rescued around 5:30pm that afternoon. Sadly there was a deceased on board and 3 are still missing at sea.
According to the Acting Director for Disaster, Gregory Roaveneo, the boat arrived back into Kavieng at approximately 8:30pm. The distraught survivors were treated and observed overnight at the Kavieng Hospital.
“Confirmation from one of the survivors indicated 3 are still unaccounted for. All 3 are from Mussau,” said Roaveneo.
The boat they were travelling on had left for Mussau on Friday the 12th of July for a funeral, sadly the sister of the deceased was the one that lost her life at sea.
Roaveneo also confirmed that 1 survivor from another boat travelling out to Tench last week Friday was rescued off Emirau on Thursday, 18th July. According to information obtained from the survivor there were 5 of them on board. “ At this stage communication into those areas is very difficult and it’s feared the 4 may have lost their lives,” said Roaveneo.
He said as a maritime province, sea travel is evident and risks will always be taken regardless. “As a Government we have an obligation and duty to search and rescue.”
New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius Chan, expressing concern called on everyone to make calculated risks when embarking on sea travel. “ New Irelanders are a seafaring people, the ocean has been our life for more than 7,000 years, the risks have always been there. It is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility. Sometimes mother nature is unpredictable. The New Ireland Government as much as it feels responsible to look out for everyone, it can only do so much. Help us help you,” said Sir J.
Source: New Ireland Government Media Unit