‘Vessels play important role in serving islands’

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VESSELS like this steel hulled mv Pationgo continue to service people in the islands of Papua New Guinea.
Crew member Chuck Ataia said the boat serviced the islands of Mussau and Emira (or Emirau), further out to the north of Kavieng, New Ireland, as well as other islands closer to the mainland.
Mussau is about 140km from Kavieng, while Emira is 40km southeast of Mussau.
“We even go to Rabaul, Manus and Madang, depending on our clients and our boss,” Ataia said on Saturday morning at the Kavieng district office jetty.
He was with two of his relatives, Terry Bill and Toilu Dickson, catching up on stories in the boat on Saturday when the photographer caught up with them.
Ataia said the boat was owned by a local Mussau man,
It took them 12-13 hours to travel from Kavieng to Mussau, which is the furthest island in that part of the province — northwest to Kavieng.
He said it would take six hours to travel to Mussau on a banana boat.
Mussau and Emira are two of the main islands in the St Matthias group of islands.
PNG having hundreds of islands with scattered population, the vessels play an important role.