Five still lost at sea

National

By JIMMY KALEBE
RELATIVES of the five men and a schoolgirl that went missing in the Vitiaz Strait between Sialum and Siassi Island in Morobe are still searching for them.
Relative Frazer Tali in an interview yesterday confirmed that his brother and officer in charge of Semo Health Centre on Siassi Island Ezekiel Peter’s laptop bag and other documents have been found between Karkar Island and Megiar in Madang by a fisherman on June 11.
“My brother last contacted our mother in Lae on June 2 at about 9am when they approached the open sea trying to cross the Vitiaz Strait over to Siassi Island,” Tali said.
“After that, we did not get any more signal until we learnt that they were missing.”
He said at that time, the weather was bad and he assumed the boat may have capsized in high and rough seas which caused the six people on the boat to go adrift on floaters.
Tali said a groups of boys on a search mission were currently in Madang searching on the coastlines and islands.
The body of the schoolgirl who was a student at a secondary school in Finschhafen was located at Bagbag Island in Madang on June 6 and relatives are trying to take her body home.
“We are now calling on the authorities in Morobe and Madang to help where necessary” he said.
Tali said the relatives are also thankful to Tewai-Siassi MP Kobby Bomareo, the district development authority, provincial health division in Morobe for their response to this incident.
According to Tali, the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) had informed him that they have alerted ocean liners and fishing boats to keep a look out for the missing people but to this date they had not located anything yet.
He appealed to the Siassi community in Lae to help and make their concerns heard by the authorities to make travelling in the Vitiaz Strait safely.
“I am extending a call to all maritime villages from Wasu in Morobe to Madang and East Sepik to look out for the remains of the missing people and if located, contact me on 7019 5011,” Tali added.

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