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Dead body of woman identified as one of the 14 persons in missing boat

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The dead body of a woman that was found near Choiseul was believed to be that of one of the 14 persons who went missing recently in the Western Province.

Police found the female’s dead body yesterday near ZINOA Island, VOUZA area in North West Choiseul and was transported back to Taro by the Police search team and Taro Medical team.

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Assistant Commissioner (AC) National Operation Ms. Evelyn Thugea says a close relative has identified the dead body and confirmed that she was one of the passengers on board the 75 horse powered engine that had gone missing recently.

Thugea told journalists today that the dead body had started to decompose but a tattoo written at her back and the upper left arm were still visible to identify the body. 

Police had received information that two boats left Gizo to Harapa in the Shortland Islands to conduct a burial. However, a boat with a 75 horse powered engine somehow did not reach its destination as expected with 14 people on board while twin 40-horse powered engines managed to get to Taro.

Based on the information police received from the other boat they say that they encountered fine weather but midway between Vella Island and Shorthand Islands in the afternoon both met bad weather.

A police search party was searching on 2 January 2022 until yesterday when they found the dead body.

“My condolence to the immediate family members for the loss of their loved one. A joint Operation continues for the missing people,” Thugea said today.

She added: “Since we have experienced some sea incidents, I must re-emphasize here that sea safety when traveling at sea is very important. Before you travel, please plan your trip properly. Here are some safety points to remember before traveling:

·         Plan your trip and at least let a member of your family know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;

·         Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on the toll free 933; or phones 36310 or 24219.

·         If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;

·         Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;

·         Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;

·         Do not overload your boat

·         Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone, flares and EPIRB;

·         Take extra fuel;

·         If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat; and

·         If you require help, at sea call the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685 or the toll free phone 977; or call the RSIPF National Communication Centre on phone 23666 or the toll free phone 999.

Safety at sea starts with you. IF YOU ARE NOT TOO SURE, STAY ASHORE

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