The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) advises sea travelers throughout the country to take all precautionary measures in the light of the strong wind warning issued by the Meteorological Service for parts of the country.

The strong wind warning is current for Rennell and Bellona, Makira, Temotu and southern waters of Guadalcanal, Russell Islands in Central Province and Western Province.

According to the MET Service, south easterly winds of 20 to 25 knots with moderate to rough seas and moderate southeast swells are current for waters of Rennell and Bellona, Makira, Temotu and southern waters of Western Province, Russell Islands and Guadalcanal

“I want to advise all our small boat owners and drivers to take heed of this strong wind warning and not to travel unless it is extremely necessary. Please listen to the weather report on SIBC and other radio stations or contact the MET Service for any latest update before embarking on your journey,” says Supervising Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Joseph Manelugu.

He adds: “Do not underestimate the weather as it can get worse very quickly. If you are already on your journey seek shelter if the weather gets worse.

“Always remember the sea safety messages that the RSIPF and other authorities have been sending out to prevent any sea disaster,” says DC Manelugu.

This includes:

• Plan your trip and let your wantoks know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;

• Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on 27658 or toll free 933;

• If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;

• Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;

• Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;

• Do not overload your boat;

• Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone and flares;

• Take extra fuel;

• If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat; and

• If you require help at sea call the Maritime Coordination Centre on phones 21609 or 27685 or toll free 977. You can also call the RSIPF on 23666 or the toll free 999.

Source: RSIPF Media