By DOROTHY MARK
ARMED pirates attacked a dinghy but left a mother and her baby, a 13-year-old girl and eight others unharmed. However, two others are still missing after they were forced to jump into the sea.
The terrifying drama unfolded at 3pm on Saturday when the dinghy, skippered by a man called Zebedi Moka, ran into six pirates armed with homemade guns, two bush knives and two catapults.
Moka said the pirates ordered everyone, except the mother and her baby, to jump into the sea near the Kalibobo Lighthouse towards the Gogol River.
“One of the pirates swung his knife at me and slashed the right side of my shoulder and arm. Another pirate shot his catapult and the pebble hit my nose.
“That shocked me, and I lost my balance and fell into the sea,” he added.
The pirates then looted the dinghy, with the mother and baby aboard.
After carting away all the groceries that were bought from town, and handphones, cash and belongings, the pirates left in their boat.
The victims then swam and climbed back onto their dinghy and a head count found that two other passengers were missing.
Moka said the dinghy was running low on fuel and thus could not conduct a search for the two missing passengers.
“We made it back to Garim beach where we topped up the fuel tank and launched a futile search for the two missing men,” he added.
The two were identified as Bari Kouring, 45, from Male Village and Kom Sangi, 60, from Kaliku Village, both in the Astrolabe Bay LLG.
Moka said he was at the Madang police station the whole day trying to get help but the policemen were too busy quelling a violent ethic clash in Sisiak that saw two men killed.
Astrolabe Bay local government people’s advocate Molex Mabb said search and rescue efforts were conducted over the weekend but the two could not be found.
He appealed to anyone who find any of the two alive to contact police or him on 79888143.
He added that Sangi could be be easily identified because he had huge legs because of elephantiasis.
Mabb urged the police to put in more effort to check sea piracy, a growing concern for coastal villagers.
By DOROTHY MARK