5 PNG nationals safe in Honiara after nine-week adrift
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
FIVE PNG nationals have been rescued in the high seas of Solomon Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Friday last week after drifting for nine weeks.
The five were brought over to Honiara yesterday and are reportedly safe and receiving medical attention. Four of them are from Lihir in PNG’s New Ireland province and one from East New Britain province.
The Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Solomon Islands His Excellency Mr Fred Yakasa thanks the Lee Kwok Kuen Group of companies especially Solfish Company and partner Fishing Vessel Jin Chu Fu No 68 through its agent Will Fish management William Chen for the rescue.
“The survivors were travelling from Namatanai town to Lihir Islands on Thursday March 2, 2018 around 4pm in which about an hour later, a bad weather forced them to lose visibility and directions. Around 7pm their fuel ran out and they began drifting,” said in PNG High Commission’s media statement.
According to the men, they survived on a bag of peanuts, dry coconuts and rain water which were collected and stored in a bucket and containers.
After arriving at the Solfish wharf at Ranandi around 9am, the PNG nationals were rushed to the Family Medical Centre for medical checks.
Four were released soon after and one remained at the clinic for further observation.
Solfish Company has generously offered accommodations at their Lengakiki compound and the PNG High Commission has commenced arrangements necessary to repatriate them back to PNG early next week.
Present also during the arrival of the PNG nationals were the immigration, customs and ministry of fisheries officers.
The men were found and rescued by FFV Jin Chu Fu No 68 on Friday, May 4.