Authority defends rescue efforts


THE National Maritime Safety Authority has a maritime rescue coordination centre which coordinates search and rescue operations and is staffed 24 hours a day, general manager says Paul Unas.
Unas was responding to criticisms that the country lacked a proper search and rescue system is relation to the 12 people missing in Morobe waters.
He said a search and rescue efforts were coordinated by the centre including two aerial searches covering 8600 square kilometres, communication with ships and aircraft in the area to keep a lookout for the dinghy.
The aerial search was conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority aircraft under its partnership with the local authority.
Unfortunately, the search has been unsuccessful to date with no reports of the missing dinghy or the passengers.
The incident was blamed on an overloaded dinghy who sailed out in bad weather.
Unas said: “If people continue to take the risk and travel in overloaded dinghies and bad weather, more of these tragedies will occur.”
He urged dinghy operators to make responsible decisions.