FAMILY ESCAPES PIRATES OFF PORT MORESBY

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 24) - Pirates attacked an expatriate man and his children outside the Port Moresby main wharf on Tuesday afternoon.

The family escaped the pirates by opening the throttle and reaching the safety of the Royal Papua Yacht Club’s marina.

Port Moresby police said they had not yet heard about the banana boat attack.

The man, who is a member of the Royal Papua Yacht Club, was traveling with his children in their banana boat near the main wharf on Tuesday afternoon when they were approached by another banana boat, painted black.

Yacht club general manager David Wilkinson said yesterday the man tried to avoid the pursuing boat but it kept following them.

Wilkinson said the criminals then threw an unidentified smoking object towards them but it bounced off the family’s boat.

He said one of the criminals then brought out what was believed to be a single-barrel shotgun and fired one shot at the man and his sons.

The family sped off in their boat to the club marina and the pirates fled, Wilkinson said.

"No one was physically hurt, however, it does highlight the increasing security problems we are all facing, not just on land, but now on the open water," he said.

Wilkinson said they also received unconfirmed reports the same people held up the Liquor Barn store last week at Ela Beach and also attempted to steal one of the boat tenders from a vessel in the harbor on Tuesday night.

Wilkinson said they also believe the criminals may have been involved in other robberies yesterday, using the boat.

"I can assure you we are implementing additional security measures to ensure our marina is safe," he said.

National Capital District/Central provincial police commander Tony Wagambie said yesterday they had not received any reports on the incident but would investigate.

Two other attempted boat robberies have been reported last week around the nation’s capital.

One robbery was near the Tahira boat center and the other at Manubada Island off Koki.

June 25, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

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