THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is continuing the search for a boat with nine passengers on board which has gone missing since leaving the Russell Islands in the Central province bound for Honiara last Thursday, August 2, 2018.
Police were contacted on August 3, 2018 when the boat failed to arrive in Honiara.
“The banana boat is 21 feet long with a red round cabin. It was powered by a 40 horse power Yamaha out boat motor engine, with nine passengers on board including a woman and a child as well as two eskies of fish. They failed to arrive in Honiara,” says Director Police Maritime, Chief Superintendent Charles Fox Sau.
“After receiving the report we worked closely with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and a search and rescue map has been set up.
“A search has been conducted since Friday August 3 up until now. This includes Police officers from Maritime Unit, Tulagi and Yandina Police Stations as well as civilian boats from Louna. The search covered areas in West Guadalcanal, Isabel, and around RusselI Islands.
“An urgency radio broadcast has been sent out by MRCC to travelling ships in our waters, and the police search team also notified fishermen they came across to help in the look out.
“A formal request has been sent to the Joint Rescue and Coordinating Centre (JRCC), Australia Search and Rescue (AUSAR) and Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for net water movement and by the MRCC.
“I want to call on fishermen travelling in our waters, and ships to look out for the missing boat and contact the Police Communication Centre on phone 23666 or dial the Police Toll Free Line 999 and assist them if sighted.
“I want to strongly remind our good people travelling on our seas to always think safety first. Service your engines before travelling.
“Ensure you have extra fuel, paddles, water and food. Do not over load your boats. Remember if you are unsure, stay ashore,” says Chief Superintendent Sau.