The Solomon Islands Police Maritime Vessel, MV Lata, returned to Honiara early yesterday afternoon from a medical evacuation trip to one of the outlying atolls of the Solomons, Ongtong Java.

Police Media reported that officers were assembled, and prepared for deployment, after receiving an emergency radio call late Saturday afternoon from the Island of Luaniua in Ontong Java.

The MV Lata was dispatched to the location at approximately 2.20am Sunday morning and got to Luaniua after 5.00pm that evening. Three sick people were evacuated from the Island for emergency medical attention on board the Police vessel. The return trip was said to have encountered rough weather, but the team arrived safely in Honiara yesterday afternoon.

The sick people were handed to a waiting medical team at Police Maritime Base. Some of the villagers that accompanied the sick stated that it may have ended in tragedy had it not been for the emergency evacuation.

Ongtong Java is a coral atoll lying about two hundred miles northeast of the Solomon Islands, and, because of its remoteness, the Ongtong Java locals depend on such medical evacuation trips for those who are seriously ill.