Police safely returns tourists, tour guides to Honiara after boat capsized
Tulagi police safely transported 15 international war veteran tourists and two local tour guides to Honiara yesterday.
The tourists and tour guides including two local boat crews survived their boat-capsized at Big Ngella on Sunday night.
According to a police report, 19 individuals arrived at Vanita Motel via a ray boat owned by Rax Boy on Sunday for a day trip organised by a Honiara based tourism operator.
They left Vanita Motel to Sandfly the same day. The boat capsized half way to Sandfly due to bad weather around 6pm.
They managed to go ashore on a reef outside Sole Village where locals assisted them by transporting them to the mainland.
Tulagi Police were notified of the incident at 9pm on Sunday and immediately responded at first light yesterday morning.
They were safely transported by the Tulagi police via a stabi craft to Honiara. All are safe and in good health even though four of them had minor fuel burns on their skin. They were treated before being transported to Honiara.
The tourists have lost most of their travelling documents. Police have informed the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of this incident and the situation the tourists are facing.
Provincial Police Commander (PPC) for Central Province, Superintendent David Soakai said police were not aware of the visit until it received the report.
Superintendent Soaki calls on transport operators to be cautious about the welfare of visitors and make sure boats are sea worthy, have the capacity and know about the weather when deciding to get tourists to travel.
Travelling arrangements must be pre planned and must be channelled through proper authorities in the Province to avoid further disasters and casualties in the future.
PPC Soakai acknowledged stakeholders and the Central Provincial Government for the great support rendered including the Sole community for the successful rescue operation.