Police has confirmed that the body found outside Cowgile Village in South Savo on Sunday afternoon is that of one of the missing passenger of the ray boat that sunk outside Bungana Island.

“The body, which was discovered by villagers, has been identified as that of the 20-year-old man from Koilovala Village in Small Gela. The body was taken to Tulagi by Police in Central Police and has been taken back to his home village this morning for burial. The other person, a 19-year-old student is still missing,” says Provincial Police Commander, Central Province Inspector Hugo Maelasi.

“Our deepest condolences to family members and relatives of the deceased at the tragic loss of one of your beloved members. May our good Lord comfort you all at this sad time,” says PPC Maelasi.

The ray boat with 22 passengers from Koilovala and Vunuha villages in Small Gela, left Honiara on the afternoon of 25 June and on their way they began to experience a mechanical problem with one of their engines, so they only used one engine.

When they came close to Bungana they began to experience bad weather and the ray boat started to take in water until it sunk, overturned and drifted. Luckily, the passengers managed to get in touch with someone on shore about their ordeal.

Three boats were sent for the search and rescue including a stabi-craft from the RSIPF Maritime in Honiara. Twenty of the passengers were rescued while two were missing.

Source: RSIPF Media