9 PNG nationals rescued off Rennell island

Royal Solomon Islands Police Vessel (RSIPV) Gizo have transported nine people who are natives of Dawa Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG), from South West of Rennel Island to Honiara after they were found drifting at sea and rescued by Taiwanese fishing boat on 24 February 2022.

Director Police Maritime of the RSIPF Superintendent Nevol Soko said the rescue operation was carried out after request received from Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Honiara that a Taiwanese fishing vessel Yi SIANG No: 8 found a ray-boat with a 40-horse powered engine with nine survivors on the boat.”

“The boat was located 130 miles South West of Rennel Province close to the border between PNG Solomon Islands,” Soko said.

“Six are males while three are females. They were so fortunate to be rescued after drifting for 29 days,” he added.

“They were found and were kept on board the Taiwanese fishing vessel for 2 nights waiting the patrol boat to transport them to Honiara.”

Commanding officer Patrol Boat Gizo Inspector Derick Naotoro, said sea was rough with high swells and his crews have encountered strong winds but with the help of the Taiwanese Captain of the fishing vessel, they used their small floating-raft to transfer the survivors from the fishing vessel across to the Patrol Boat.

“The nine people were checked by a medical doctor on board the Patrol Boat. He did a swab test for COVID-19 and all results were negative.

“Further checks on their medical health condition proved that all of them are healthy and strong despite a month out in the open sea,” Naotoro said.

The nine are currently in quarantine at Guadalcanal Beach Resort.

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