FIVE PNG SURVIVORS OF 11-WEEK SEA ORDEAL STILL IN KIRIBATI

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By Winnis Map

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 28, 1997-Post Courier)---- Five men from New Ireland, Papua New Guinea who survived an 11-week ordeal at sea in an open boat before being picked up in Kiribati waters 10 days ago are still in Tarawa, the Post Courier newspaper reports.

They remain in Tarawa because no one has come to their aid to transport them back to Papua New Guinea.

The PNG National Disaster and Emergency Services office in Port Moresby, requested by the PNG High Commission in Suva, Fiji to help make flight arrangements, said it would cost $14,900 to fly the men home from Kiribati. Deputy Director Daniel Raku noted, however, that no funds are available for the flight, so plans were not being made to fly the five survivors home.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the five in Tarawa, Joseph Kareke, said that the men are still at a hotel and being well looked after by the local people.

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