Treasury staff drowns

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 17th April 2013

 MOROBE provincial finance and treasury division staff is mourning the sudden death of longtime colleague Zure Buge, who drowned along the Sialum coast of Tewai-Siassi.

Buge, aged 44, was from Boana in the Nawaeb district and was on duty when the tragedy struck..

He and 12 other passengers, including his wife and child, were on their way from Lae to Sialum via Finschhafen on a banana boat owned by Sialum locals.

The dinghy was also carrying building material for the Sialum technical high school.  

Weather reports said there were north-easterly winds and rough seas on Vitiaz Strait on Saturday.

According to treasury officers, the boat operator was advised at Finschhafen not to continue the journey until the weather settled.

The boat travelled past Bonga (Bobongara) and while nearing the Wandokai village, the seas got rougher and the boat capsized.

“When the boat capsized, Buge was thrown overboard and he held onto an empty zoom (fuel) container while the others struggled to shore. 

“But, while struggling to keep afloat, a big wave splashed over him which he could not withstand,” an officer said.

Buge’s body was retrieved  and taken to the Lae International Hospital after provincial treasurer Andrew Namuesh and Morobe disaster response co-

ordinator Charlie Masangkie were alerted.

Buge served 15 years at the provincial office as a district treasurer for Tewai-Siassi based at Sialum station.