BOAT, 15 PASSENGERS MISSING OFF BOUGAINVILLE

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By Augustine Kinna

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 27) - Fifteen people had been reported missing in the waters of Nissan Island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Buka police station commander Inspector Cletus Tsien said the missing boat belonged to the Bougianville Health Department.

He said the boat left Buka last Monday with five passengers to deliver medical supplies to the atolls of Nissan. It was returning to Buka last Sunday morning with 15 passengers on board, when it went missing.

Tsien said the boat did not reach the shores of Buka last Sunday evening as expected. He said they had alerted border patrols and authorities in the Solomon Islands and other provinces to keep a look out for the missing boat or any survivors.

He said a rescue team had been dispatched and had conducted searches in the open sea.

He said the search for the missing vessel and its passengers would continue.

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