Rescue team calls for assistance to return home

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A GROUP who assisted in last month’s search and rescue operation of lost trekkers in the Sarawaget Ranges in Morobe are calling for assistance to return to their villages.
Twenty-seven rescuers from Indagen, Kabwum, who helped in rescuing survivors and finding the dead in Sarawaget are stranded in Lae.
Team leader and spokesman Vincent Kowang said a total of 32 men had been involved in the search and rescue effort that lasted for more than three weeks and 27 of them had travelled to Lae after the operation was called off on Sept 6.
“We don’t have a home in Lae,” he said.
“We supported the Government and the church in the rescue effort and we now need to assistance to go back home.
“Many of us were sick after the mission and we really need assistance.
“Those we’ve assisted and others, if you can help us in any way possible, please do so.”
Kowang said his group had not been appreciated for their efforts.
He said some individuals in Lae had been claiming to be part of their group and seeking Government assistance and condemned their actions.
“Some people have been using our name and seeking funds for us, the rescuers, but we are not aware of that and warn people to be aware of such groups,” he said.
Kowang said his group wanted to travel to Indagen and called on the authorities, including, the organisers of the Indagen centenary anniversary, to visit them and find ways to help them return.
Organiser of the Lutheran mission centenary celebration Mainuwe Fanamu told The National he had met with the group and provincial disaster officials and the families of the deceased would address how they could help or compensate the rescuers.
Fanamu said 12 bodies were currently in the Lae hospital morgue waiting for relatives to claim them while the others were still in the Sarawaget Ranges with the rescuers the only ones who could release the bodies to the relatives.

3 comments

  • Plain stupidity in organising such a trip. The organising committee responsible for the walk should be liable for the deaths. Pilgrimage trip on such a terrain and worse still being ill prepared for the trip is a death trip.

  • What was the outcome of such trip? The outcome was majority dead. Therefore Lutheran Mission and those organizing committees are responsible to bring the dead bodies back to their respective homes. If someone organise such thing, must work out the consequences at the first place before proceed on. The blame should go to Lutheran Church and organizing committees.

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