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Motorboats capsize in separate incidents

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, October 1, 2009) – New Ireland Province has recorded three disastrous sea ordeals involving 45 people from August 24.

This involved three 40hp 23-footer fibreglass speedboats at various times. One overloaded with 25 students from Djaul Island south-west of provincial capital Kavieng, happened last Sunday.

The August 24 mishap though was not reported until just before the Independence celebrations on September 14, much to the ire of provincial disaster and administration officials. This happened between the Lihir and Tabar Islands north of the New Ireland mainland in the Namatanai District, during bad weather. Provincial disaster officials said a family of six including two children, one-year and six-years, on a shopping trip to Lihir were picked up in international waters by a foreign fishing vessel and putashore in the Federated States of Micronesian capital Ponpei. Director of provincial disaster, Michael Lamusan, said another of the mishaps involved 11 people and two children just before Independence about two hours out of Kavieng harbour. He said outbound to Mussau Island, the speedboat sank in rough weather in mid-afternoon, and the passengers barely made it to Nusa Island after nine hours.

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