Why people get missing at sea, SIMA explains


Reports of people going missing at sea in the country is getting frequent.

And, this is due to many of these victims travelling at sea without prior preparations.

This is according to the Director of Solomon Island Maritime Authority (SIMA) Thierry Nervale in an interview with Island Sun this week.

“It happens too often and when this happens, authorities have to deploy a lot of resource to find them and bring them back to land,” Mr Nervale said.

Nervale said before people go to sea, boat drivers and passengers should check the weather forecast, check that they have lifesaving equipment to be able to signal their position if they are missing.

“They need to inform people at their destination when they leave and their expected time of arrival beforehand,” Nervale said.

He said boat drivers need to prepare their boat and engine well, making sure that it is perfectly suited and worked well before travel.

On Monday it was reported that a 40-horse powered Outboard motor boat went missing three people on board.

Information obtained by Island Sun had it that they were part of the Point Cruz Yacht Club (PCYC) fishing competition held last weekend.

PCYC confirmed this when called.

They later went ashore at Moe island in the Russell Islands from Mere Island after it was believed they experienced a mechanical problem.

Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services on Tuesday issued a fifth strong wind warning.

It said a strong wind warning is current for waters of Rennell & Bellona, Makira and Temotu provinces and southern waters of Western, Russell and Guadalcanal.

“Seas will be moderate to rough and moderate (2.0 to 2.5 meters) southeast swells, and people in the areas above must take precautionary measures as such strong winds have the potential to impact lives and properties.

“Sea travelers are urged to consider safety actions as such winds can produce dangerous wave conditions which are hazardous to small boats. Expect poor visibility in shower and thunderstorm areas,” it says.

The MET service said a general easterly trade wind flow persists over Solomon Islands.

It earlier explains that a strong wind warning means that winds of 20 to 25 knots which may gust up to 30 knots are expected to produce hazardous sea wave conditions to small crafts.

“Decision as to the degree of hazard will be left up to the boatman, based on his experience and size and type of boat.

“Be aware that these wave forecasts are an average. The height of some individual wave can be expected to be much as two times greater,” it said.

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