The 21-foot Yahama boat which went missing since Friday last week between Makira Ulawa and Malaita Province has been found outside a harbour in South Malaita.
Deputy Director Operations of the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA), Brian Aonima confirmed to SIBC News today, all five people onboard the boat are receiving medical treatment at the Tawaro clinic in South Malaita.
“With regards to the search and rescue operations, we have conducted for the five missing persons on board the banana boat which left Hatcha to Fanalei in Small Malaita, we have located them at 10 am this morning and this has taken us a week to finally locate them.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) also confirmed that the boat and all its passengers were found alive and well outside Malou village, South Malaita this morning.
Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast told his weekly media conference today, the boat was found drifting outside the village with all passengers on board at 10 am this morning.
“The missing boat with five passengers on board that we’ve been searching for over the last four or five days has been located and all aboard are safe. They are currently being attended by the local nursing officer at Malou village clinic and police are on the location for survivors and that’s good news.”
Mr Prendergast said Police are working to repatriate all the passengers to Honiara.
Meanwhile, the Police boss says the search for the missing boat since last Friday has been a very extensive exercise.
“I can say there was a very extensive search undertaken involving the uses of the PPF helicopter, the RSIPF Patrol Boat Auki, stabi crafts from Auki and OBMs and RIBs from Makira and Maka as well as the MRCC diverted a passenger ship into the search zone as well and obviously some work done with Solomon Airlines with their flights to keep an eye out for the vessel.”