A search party comprising of officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the Auki Police Station and relatives have successfully rescued a drifting banana boat after it encountered mechanical problems yesterday(18 July 2019).
A skipper and his crew from Lilisiana Village near Auki were on the boat when it left the Village in the early hours of 18 July 2019 and did not return.
The fishermen were on a fishing trip when it is believed they encountered mechanical problems with their out boat motor engine and started drifting.
Supervising Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Malaita Province, Inspector Charles Edward Koto says, “According to information obtained by Police the last phone call was received from the men later in the afternoon and then their mobile phone went off.”
“Information obtained confirmed that their position when they made their last phone call was outside of Basikana Island, North Malaita.”
“The search continued this afternoon and they were rescued near Ramos Island. Both men are fine and have been transported back to Lilisiana Village.”
PPC Koto adds: “Incidences like this happen. It is also important to note that we are also responsible for our own safety. Think safety first when travelling on our waters. Ensure that engines are serviced properly before travelling. Check the weather before setting out.”
“Take heed of this advice. They are there because your safety is paramount. As a boat operator you are legally responsible for ensuring your OBM is in good working order and that you have the right safety equipment for passengers and yourself before going out to sea,” PPC Koto emphasises.
Members of the public are encouraged to call Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685 or dial toll free number 977. Or your police can be contacted on phone 23666 or dial police toll free line 999.