Boat skipper detained

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

THE skipper of a boat has been detained at the Jomba police station after he ran over a police dinghy during the Madang Festival boat race last Sunday.
Madang station commander Inspector Vincent Isanda said the police dinghy was places along the Coronation Drive waterfront when the boat race began.
Isanda said one of the dinghies competing in the race ran straight into the police dinghy, forcing the skipper to jump into the sea for safety.
He said the four-day festival was trouble-free but there were incidents outside the showground perimeters.
Festival chairman Leo Barker said the boat accident involving police was not reported to him but he heard that there was a confrontation. He said officials took control of the situation.
“I will be recommending that from next year there should be no banana boat races,” Barker said.
“Not due to any particular incident that took place but as a result of the entrants’ expectations that do not have the festival at heart during the race.”
Barker said the people of Madang and visitors should be proud of the festival despite reports about law and order issues.
“We held the festival over three days and there was record numbers of attendees,” he said.
“There was the wonderful community spirit of the Madang people and it was an incident-free festival. Madang can stand up and be proud that.”
Isanda said there were a few armed robberies which the police Criminal Investigations Department was working on.
It was also reported that there was a hold-up at the Culture and Tourism Bureau and tickets for the festival  and other items were stolen.
The incident happened on Thursday night before the festival began but generally, the atmosphere was peaceful through the festival.