Dinghy capsized, 11 still missing


ELEVEN people are still missing after a dinghy with 22 passengers capsized near the mouth of the Sepik River (Kopar) on Friday, the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) said yesterday.
It said it had suspended the search. The National understands that the boat was ferrying passengers from Wewak to Madang when the mishap occurred.
Out of the 22 passengers, nine survived and the bodies of two children were recovered, a spokesperson for NMSA said.
No other bodies have been located despite air and sea searches.
The spokesperson said: “People are dead or missing due to overloading of the dinghy.
“The incident will be referred to police for investigation and if the skipper survived, he faces a cumulative sentence up to a maximum of 130 years in prison,” the spokesman claimed. “Every person who thinks about getting onto an overloaded dinghy is really thinking about dying at sea. Dinghies are designed to carry nine people only.” The authority urged everyone in the southern region, especially Gulf and Western, to take heed of the National Weather Service warning of rough sea conditions over the coming days, due to a developing cyclone in northern Australia.
With waves up to seven metres and winds up to 100km per hour predicted, it said no small boats or dinghies should be going out to sea under any circumstances.

One thought on “Dinghy capsized, 11 still missing

  • People never think safety before traveling in seas. Overloading is a safety breach. Small Craft Act needs enforcing by authorities. Otherwise we will continue these breaches and accidents like this will happen.

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