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Nine Solomon Islanders missing at sea found safe and well

The nine people missing at sea while travelling from the Russell Islands in the Central Province to Honiara on 2 August 2018 have been found safe and well.

The boat, which had drifted for five days, went ashore at Gizunalapu Island, near Babahaero Village, in the Isabel Province at about 3 am in the morning of 7 August 2018. It is not clear at this stage what happened to them that led them to drift as far as Isabel

Director Police Maritime, Chief Superintendent Charles Fox Sau says, “Later  on the morning of 7 August, the missing people saw a man paddling out at sea  and waved to him for help with a piece of cloth.”

He adds, “They asked him to assist them to any nearby village. They were taken to Babahaero Village and arrived there at 12 noon.”

“At Babahaero Village the survivors were assisted by the community there and were later taken to Kia Village where they were checked at the local clinic and declared in good health. The people at Kia are looking after them while arrangements are being made to take them back to Louna in the Russell Islands,” says Chief Superintendent Sau.

“While it is not clear at this stage what happened to the boat and engine that led to the nine people drifting, I want to remind our good people travelling on banana boats in our waters to always think safety first. Try and have the right equipment including a compass or a GPS. Properly check your engine before travelling. Ensure you have fuel, paddles, water and food. Do not over load your boats before traveling. Remember if you are unsure, stay ashore,” says Chief Superintendent Sau.

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