The Maritime Office in Gizo, Western Province has issued a strong warning to people in Western and Choiseul Provinces to be extra cautious when travelling by sea.

Maritime Officer in Gizo, Whitley Douglas said people planning to travel at sea should do so with caution.

Mr Douglas made the statement yesterday, after two separate tragic boating incidents in the Province – this week and last week.

Last week, five people – two elderly men, and three teenagers – were reported as lost at sea, after the boat they had travelled in sand between Vella la Vella and Choiseul Province.

This week, eight students – four boys and four girls – almost lost their lives, after a decision to leave them afloat in the sea, because the boat they were travelling in was overloaded with passengers and general goods cargo.

They were travelling to Vonunu, in Vella La Vella from Gizo.

Speaking to Wan FM News, the Gizo Maritime Officer said people must plan their travelling with caution, and should check the weather before travelling.

“I just want to appeal to the general public that please when you go out, first of all check the weather forecast and then inform someone where you are going and when you’re planning to return, make sure you have safety equipments onboard, like floatation devises, check and make sure your engine is in good working condition and avoid overloading. These are safety message that I’d like the public to know.”

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