5 Dead, 11 Missing In Solomon Boat Accident

Boat Capsizes Of Group Of 23 Villagers Who Left Uhu Village For Marau To Raise Funds For Their Church

By Aatai John

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 18, 2017) – Five are confirmed dead, while 11 are still missing from the Marau boat tragedy.

As the police patrol boat with local boats combed the seas off Marau in the eastern coast of Guadalcanal, hopes of finding the missing 11 alive become slimmer.

Four dead bodies were recovered on Friday after an earlier discovery of the body of a child on Thursday.

Deputy Director of Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) Jonah Mitau told the Sunday Star their search yesterday has not picked any of the missing 11.

Mitau said the patrol boat will remain in the area to assist local boat owners in Marau who were provided with fuel by the Search and Rescue Division help out in the search.

He added the search will continue more for two weeks before they could consider calling it off.

The five dead and 11 missing were part of a group of 23 villagers who left Uhu village in West Are’Are, Malaita, to Marau last Wednesday morning in an outboard motor boat.

They were going to Marau to raise funds for their church.

But rough seas hit them before they reached their destination, capsizing their boat.

Only seven of the 23 were rescued alive.

Another boat which left at the same time with 21 people arrived safely in Marau.

The tragedy has been described as one of the worst to have been recorded here.

Meanwhile, reports from Marau said the dead bodies have been returned to their home village at Uhu yesterday by the police patrol boat.

Solomon Star
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