Sea travel alert out

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

THE Madang disaster office has issued a stern warning to people travelling out at sea to take necessary precautions.
Acting assistant director Rudolf Mongallee issued the warning after a cargo vessel rescued 12 people drifting out at sea between Madang and Bagbag Island last week.
Mongallee said the nine adults and three children left Madang at 8am on Thursday for Karkar Island and encountered an engine problem.
He said they were lucky because their dinghy was sighted by the crew of the Hiri Chief which was bound for Lae from Wewak.
“The drifting passengers fired a flare and attracted the vessel,” Mongallee said.
He said the Hiri Chief passed them and sailed on for a few kilometres but the captain turned the vessel around and rescued the passengers, including the dinghy’s skipper and crew.
The Hiri Chief took them to Kubugam where they left the skipper and his crew before taking the 10 passengers to Madang where Mongallee and his team picked them up.
Mongallee also reported that another dinghy travelling from Malalamai in Raicoast to Madang ran out of fuel and drifted off course due to strong winds but the passengers managed to pull into Yabob Island.
He said the National Weather Service in Port Moresby had already issued strong wind warnings but some boat operators were not taking precautions.