POLICE at Tulagi in the Central province have successfully rescued five passengers whose boat experienced engine problem while travelling between Honiara and Gela on July 30, 2018.
The passengers rescued included the doctor at the Tulagi Hospital, two of his staff and two other people.
Provincial Police Commander (PPC), Central province Superintendent Patricia Leta says, “We received the report at about 4.30 pm on July 30. My officers responded to the report and successfully rescued the five passengers safely to Tulagi at around 5.15pm that same evening. My officers sighted the boat near Gela Island.
“The men were travelling in a 21-feet long boat, round cabin powered by a 40 horse power Yamaha engine on their trip from Honiara when the engine experienced some problems.
“I appeal to all the good people of Central province to ensure that their engines are properly serviced and in good working order before setting out on any trip. Do not travel during bad weather because you will be risking your life if any problem happens at sea during your trip.
“Let us all work together to reduce problems happening at sea by planning our trips properly before travelling.
“Before you travel, please plan your trip properly. Here are some safety points to remember before travelling:
Plan your trip and let at least a member of your family know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;
Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on 27658 or toll free 933;
If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;
Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;
Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;
Do not overload your boat
Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone, flares and EPIRB;
Take extra fuel;
If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat; and
If you require help at sea call the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685 or the toll free phone 977; or call the RSIPF National Communication Centre on phone 23666 or the toll free phone 999.
“Safety at sea starts with you. If you are not too sure, stay ashore.”
PPC Leta also thanked her officers who had the courage and responded to the report although the weather was extremely bad on the night of the rescue.