Banana boat capsizes with students on board

Christopher Smith

TWO female students are recovering from trauma after a banana boat carrying 33 students from the Institute of Business Studies University (IBSU) capsised between Gemo Island and
oil refinery at NapaNapa outside of Port Moresby last Wednesday, police say.
Water Police director Chief Insp Christopher Smith said the students were travelling from Gemo Island in rough seas after attending a picnic.
“The students, most from the Highlands, were located around 8pm at the NapaNapa Oil Refinery,” he said.
Smith said students had been taken in for questioning and police investigations would continue.
He said they had been conducting awareness in the coastal villages to follow safety measure while at sea but people seemed to be ignorant.
“We have stressed the issue of overloading and safety equipment on boats over the years and there were no life jackets in the banana boat involved,” he said.
Smith said that the students were fortunate that the banana boats could float and that helped them to safety.
The crew of the banana boat were from a nearby village and police were working on identifying relevant laws before they proceeded to lay charges.
Smith appealed to the people to follow safety measures while out at sea and to abide by the law to avoid such incidents in the future.
He said banana boats do not exceed 11 people and the incident was a show of ignorance of the law which caused the accident.

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