The six people who been missing while travelling in an outboard motorised boat (OBM) from Kala Bay on Santa Cruz Island to the Reef Islands in the Temotu Province on 11 July 2020 have been found safe and well at Ngarangara Point near Su’umoli Village on Ulawa Island in the Makira Ulawa Province at 12.30 pm this afternoon.
Officers at the Taheramo Police Station on Ulawa confirmed the good news through radio to Kirakira Police Station on Makira and the National Police Communication Centre in Honiara this afternoon.
Acting Provincial Police Commander, Makira-Ulawa, Inspector Jerry Muaki confirmed that the six people, including three male and three female have been found by local villagers at Ngarangara Point near Su’umoli Village on Ulawa Island.
“The six people have been found drifting in their OBM and are all safe and well. They have been taken to the clinic at Taheramo for a medical check up and the registered nurse at the clinic has confirmed that they are medically well,” says Inspector Muaki.
He adds, “I have relayed the good news to police at Lata so that they could convey the information to relatives of the six people at Manuopo Village in the Reef Islands. We will also be talking with the relevant authorities on the repatriation of the six people back to their home village in the next few days.”
The six passengers, which includes two registered nurses working at the Manuopo Clinic, were returning from Lata on their OBM powered by a 40 horsepower engine after going there for banking purposes when they experienced very bad weather including strong winds and high seas with continuous rain.
A search including Police and Health officials at Lata as well as a New Zealand Defence Force Orion aircraft and a helicopter from Honiara failed to find the six people.