Bodies recovered from boat mishap

Islands, Normal


THE body of a two-year-old girl was among three bodies that were recovered at the weekend after a tragic boat mishap in Pomio, East New Britain province.
The accident happened on Independence Day  when a banana boat carrying 11 passengers capsized in rough seas at Karong in the Wide Bay area of Pomio.
The bodies of two-year-old Elvin Tonga, who was one of the two children on board, her mother Luisah and a young woman were brought to Kokopo on Sunday.
Reports from the Kokopo Disaster Office indicated that the boat had left Spango Primary School bound for Kokopo when they encountered rough seas off Karong.
Five of the passengers managed to swim ashore to raise the alarm while the other six, including the two children and their baby-sitter, were swept away by strong currents that had hampered rescue efforts since.
Their mother, a first-year school teacher at Spango was retrieved hours later along with the body of a local from Pomio who is also a teacher at the same school.
To date, a young Manus woman, a teacher at Karlai Vocational Girls School, young Chris and his baby-sitter have still not been found.
They are presumed dead but locals are still continuing searches in the hope of recovering their bodies from the rocky shores of Karong, the site of many sea accidents in the past.
Officers from Sinivit LLG, who had been involved in the rescue efforts, said rescue operations had been temporarily called off to allow for the next course of action.