Rescued locals in Port Moresby awaiting possible repatriation
Two Solomon Islands nationals who have been rescued off the coast of East New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea earlier this month are now in Port Moresby awaiting possible repatriation home.
Second Secretary to Solomon Islands High Commission Office in Port Moresby, Mary Walenenea confirmed this to SIBC News tonight.
Ms Walenenea said the men, Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni flew from Kokopo, the capital of East New Britain province to Port Moresby today and are now residing with Solomon Islands mission in Port Moresby.
“From here we will start work on their repatriation because they will need some documents, such as in the absence of a passport, they will need a certificate of identity which will need to be processed back home.
“How soon that will be processed will also be another thing,” Ms Walenenea said.
She said it is very likely they will travel through Brisbane, Australia and that will require transit visa and approval from the government of Solomon Islands.
Ms Walenenea said they will also require Covid-19 test results and certification which are also other requirements needed as per the country’s Covid-19 entry protocol.
“As Solomon Islanders, I don’t see any big issue that needs more time to be considered, as long as all necessary documents are there, it should take less time for, probably the Oversight Committee to decide on,” she adds.
The men were travelling to Noro in western Province from Mono in the Shortland Islands on September 3, 2021 when they encountered heavy rain, thick dark clouds and strong winds, and drifted for over 400 kilometers south west which landed them in Papua New Guinea waters.
They were rescued by a fisherman at about 9pm on Saturday October 2, 2021.
by Jared Koli