Equip yourselves, sea travellers told

National, Normal

The National, Monday 20th May 2013


SEA travellers in Morobe have been warned to have extra tools, water, fuel and snacks in boats before they travel.

Morobe Disaster Office director Charlie Masange sounded the warning following two incidents which saw two banana boats drifting into Madang waters from the Finschhafen coast this month.

The two incidents happened a week apart. The boats were trying to travel from Tami Island to Finschhafen. The trip usually takes 20 minutes. 

Masange said the first banana boat left Tami but bad weather prevented the skipper, who was travelling alone, from seeing the coastline and sailed past his destination at Finschhafen. 

He ran out of fuel and drifted south for three days until he was found near Bagabag Island in Madang.

The second mishap involved a fisheries officer who was also travelling alone. After leaving Tami, the boat encountered engine problems and drifted past Finschhafen into Madang waters. 

He was fortunate to drift into Gali village in Raicoast. 

Quick action by the disaster offices in Morobe and Madang ensured that the skipper was picked up by a Nawaeb Construction barge. He has since been reunited with his family.

Arrangements are currently underway to repatriate the second man back to Lae.