Police warns public to ‘Think Safety First’

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PROVINCIAL Police Commander, Western Province, Chief Superintendent Mathias Lenialu strongly appeals to the people of Western Province to think ‘safety first’ when travelling on out board motors from island to island and more importantly not to drink when going out to sea.

PPC Lenialu makes the appeal after an incident where a 36-year-old man from Vella la Vella was successfully rescued after he was stranded at sea for about 24 hours (from November 20 until 21 November 21, 2017) outside the island of Kolombangara.

Information received by police at Gizo say the man, who was believed to have been drinking alcohol, before he left Gizo by himself on a motorised canoe, decided to jump into the sea as he felt hot.

His boat drifted from him before he could get back on it.

The victim was travelling to Vonunu on Vella la Vella Island.

“His boat was found by a canoe travelling to Gizo and towed it with them and reported the matter to police in the township. We conducted a search in the surrounding area and the man was found in the afternoon of Tuesday 21 November by the same canoe that had earlier found his boat and engine near Kolombangara island and reported the finding to Gizo police.

“As soon as we received the report of the finding, we went straight to the village where he was kept and took him to Gizo Hospital on Tuesday evening.”

The man has since been discharged from hospital to be with his family.

“I just want to remind the good people of Western Province, if you are travelling by boat, don’t drink alcohol. Also make sure you are travelling with someone and tell others where you are going and what time you will get to your destination.

“Also make sure you have enough drinking water and enough fuel.”