A ship carrying more than 100 people which was reported gone missing was located this afternoon—with all passengers safe.
The boat, 360 Discovery, was travelling back to Honiara from Choiseul and was expected back last night but it didn’t arrive as expected.
It was carrying returning voters from the recent South Choiseul Constituency by-election.
Director of Solomon Islands Maritime Authority Thierry Nervale confirmed to SBMOnline this afternoon that they received a message of the missing boat at 3am this morning. He adds that as they were about to send a search and rescue team of a helicopter and the police patrol boat they received a message from the boat stating they were safe.
Nervale said the boat was moving slowly and they were heading towards south of Isabel.
“Yes they are okay,” he said.
However he just told this magazine tonight that whilst the passengers were safe they had started to run out of water and some had begun to experience weakness. He said the latest report is that there had been some changes since “we last spoke.”
Nervale said they are working with the owner to attend to the those on board once it arrives in Isabel in two hours time (8pm).
“I will get more details in the next few hours but now they are safe,” he told this magazine after 3.30pm today.
It is a normal practice that voters travel to their respective constituencies to cast their ballots during national elections.
The by-election for South Choiseul was held on Wednesday last week and was won by Sammy Qalo, the son of the former MP for the constituency who lost the seat in a high court petition in April last year.