Boat with 14 people missing at sea, children among those missing

Fourteen people are missing at sea after a boat they were travelling in failed to reach its final destination.

Boats travelling in unfavourable weather. Photo: Charlie Salini

The 14 left Gizo on Saturday 1st January 2022 destined for Shortland Islands on a ray boat powered by a 75 Outboard Motor (OBM) engine when they encountered strong winds on their way.
Sibere Tauroa from Taro Police who is supervising a search operation for the missing boat, said among the 14 people are women and two children – a nine year old kid and a four year old baby.
Mr Tauroa told SIBC News the boat along with another boat powered by a double 40 horsepower Yamaha OBM engine left Gizo and travelled alongside each other destined for the Shortland Islands.
“On their way, almost reaching the Shortland Islands they met very strong winds, the two boats then somehow separated and the other boat that was powered by the twin 40 engine managed to navigate and landed safely in Taro, yesterday [02/01/2022]” Mr Tauroa told SIBC News tonight.
He said a mobile phone belonging to one of the passengers in the missing boat was called, it rang but no one answered it.
On attempts to track the whereabouts of the phone, they alerted Our Telekom and were informed that the phone was detected within the Sasamunga or within south Choiseul range of Telekom’s mobile network.
“Villages along Sasamunga and south Choiseul were notified of any sightings of the boat or floating objects since Police received the report, but until now, there is still no sighting of anything,” Mr Tauroa said.
He said Police in south Choiseul attempt a search today but weather did not permit them.
Tauroa said if the weather tomorrow permits, they will conduct a search again for the missing boat.

by Jared Koli

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