A TOTAL of 27 people have been confirmed missing as of yesterday afternoon believed to be washed overboard M.V Taimareho on its way from the capital Honiara to West Area’are in the early hours of 3rd April 2020.
Deputy Director Operation of the Solomon Islands Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Brian Aonima said those missing include women, men, and a teenage boy.
“As from Saturday after we received a total number of 27 people from the Captain after they conducted a headcount at Su’u.
“Of that 27, there are 7 women, 19 men and one teenage boy aged 13,” he added.
Aonima said the number would be changed but that is what they got from the Captain as of Saturday.
When contacting the Taimareho Shipping Company for comments and verification, the officer on the phone said they are not allowed to disseminate any information but await the outcome of a meeting held by their leaders.
The officer said that currently, they have given directives for the ship to drop off the passengers at their respective ports and to return back to Honiara as the search is still continuing.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a statement yesterday also join many other people who have conveyed their deepest heartfelt sympathy and condolence to the immediate families of those missing people.
In a statement yesterday, Sogavare said that he is saddened to hear such a tragic incident to the people of West Are’are.
“It is my deep regret to learn that a number of passengers are missing at sea after being washed overboard from a passenger vessel which departed from Honiara despite several weather warnings issued,” he said.
Sogavare then reminded people to take heed of warnings and listen out to advice given by authorities during such rimes of disaster and further urged crews and vessel owners to consider the safety of passengers first and foremost.