The 9-year-old boy, who went missing on Saturday afternoon at Betikama river bank, was found early yesterday morning by a man at the river bend near the Lunga River car wash area.

The Police were then quickly alerted to the site. The boy, from Papua New Guinea, tragically drowned whilst visiting Honiara with his parents for a family wedding ceremony. It is believed he had been swimming earlier in the day with his father but later returned to Betikama river bank area alone.

His parents, relatives and friends searched for him later in the afternoon then contacted the Police in the evening. A major search launched that night involved Police vessels along the Lunga bridge area.

Search parties from the RSIPF, PPF and RAMSI military continued to assist the boy's parents, relatives and friends in trying to find the boy yesterday, to no avail.

Commissioner of Police Peter Marshall today expressed his sincere condolences to the boy's family for their loss.

He also urged people around the Lungga River and other waterways to take more precautions during the lead-up to Christmas when more children are out of school and likely to be swimming and playing near the rivers.

"We all need to help parents to ensure that children are not left to swim unsupervised. This is a tragic accident which no-one wishes to see repeated," he said.

Source: Press Release (Police Media Unit)