Honiara Police Harbour Patrol rescued five people from their ray boat, after they had been stranded for 10 hours between Gela Islands and Honiara yesterday morning.

The RSIPF Maritime Search and Rescue department launched a search after receiving a phone call for help from the four men and one female on board the drifting boat.

The Police Harbour patrol unit intercepted the stranded boat at approximately 10:20am some 8 nautical miles off the coast at Koli point and towed it back to Honiara. The boat had been drifting after its engine broke down.

Officer in Charge of Harbour Patrol, Staff Sergeant Mathias Lenialu, said the occupants of the boat were very lucky to have been in a spot where they could still catch mobile signals.

"These stranded people from North Malaita, Basikana village would have had more problems if the weather and seas were rougher," he said.

"This incident serves as a big reminder for anyone travelling across water to make sure they have adequate supplies of fuel, water and food. Safety equipment such as life jackets, compass, flares and marine radios are also essential," he said.