Radio call saves nine at sea

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NINE men were rescued when their dinghy capsized near Motukea wharf in Port Moresby on Saturday – thanks to a distress radio call by a cargo ship anchored in the harbour.
Officers on board the cargo vessel Kumul Arrow anchored in Fairfax Harbour sent out the distress call at around 5pm which was picked up by the PNG Ports operations, pilotage and vessel tracking services teams on duty at Motukea.
The officers on the vessel had noticed the men trying to swim ashore after their dinghy capsized between Gemo Island and where the ship was anchored.
The men, aged between 12 and 25, were returning from Gemo Island at about 5pm after a picnic.
The 23-foot dinghy had a 40-horsepower engine which ran out of fuel. The dinghy capsized when a huge wave hit it.
PNG Ports immediately sent out a pilot boat and brought them to shore safely at around 6.30pm.
PNG Ports chief operations officer Rodney Begley thanked the men on duty for the swift response to save lives in rough seas.
Managing director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, urged small craft owners to heed strong wind warnings and to make sure they have enough fuel before travelling out to sea.
“Warnings by authorities such as the National Maritime Safety Authority and weather services have to be taken seriously as mishaps at sea can happen anytime,” Kiniafa said.
“Some have perished at sea and it is very important that all safety measures are followed.”
He thanked Kumul Arrow for sending out the distress call.

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