Police reminds general public and sea travelers to consider safety during bad weather
The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) has reminded members of the public to take extra precautionary measures during the bad weather currently experienced throughout the country.
Police Operation Centre (POC) Commander, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Patricia Leta says, “Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly.”
“If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher grounds. Flash floods can cause weather-related deaths.”
“Vehicle drivers and out boat motor (OBM) skippers when driving along the road and travelling between our islands must take extra care during the bad weather currently affecting the country.”
“Police like to remind the public that travelling at high speed on our roads must be discouraged and OBM drivers must assess the weather before embarking on any trip,” says Ms. Leta.
She adds, “OBM skippers must ensure they have the required safety equipment before travelling to other islands. Stay onshore during bad weather and notify members of your family where you are going and what time you are expected to arrive at your destination.”
Listen to the weather report on SIBC and other radio stations or call the Met service and get the right advice before travelling. It is good and important that drivers and skippers must always put safety first before travelling on our roads and between our islands.
Ms. Leta also warned the public to consider sea safety as people from the province will be travelling to Honiara ahead of the Pacific Games 2023.
“As we are approaching the commencement of the major event (PG23), our nearby islands who are using Outboard Motors (OBM) as a means of transport must be more cautious when travelling to Honiara.”
“As part of the police operation, police will check all the boats coming in and going out to make sure everyone is safe. Therefore, owners of boats and vessels are urged to think safety first before embarking on any trip at sea between our islands as we are also experiencing a wet season,” she said.
She also encourages sea travelers to always check the weather forecast by listening to SIBC and other radio stations or call the Met service and get the right advice before travelling .
“If you are not sure, stay ashore,” she insists.
“If you are at sea and need help, contact the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685, or toll free 977. You can also call the National Police Communication Centre on 23666 or toll free 999,” AC Leta emphasises.
Meanwhile, the RSIPF would like to remind boat owners and skippers on the importance of sea safety.
Before you travel, please plan your trip properly.
Here are some safety points to remember before travelling:
· Plan your trip and let at least a member of your family know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;
· Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on 23658 or toll free 933;
· If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;
· Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;
· Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;
· Do not overload your boat
· Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone, flares and EPIRB;
· Take extra fuel; and
· If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat.