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04 August 2014

SEARCH is underway for five people who have gone missing after their boat sank last week in the Western province.

Reports reaching the paper said a ray boat believed to be powered by a 60 horse-powered outboard motor (OBM) carrying seven males sank between the open waters of Vella La Vella and Choiseul.

The boat was on its way to Vurulata in South Choiseul.

Initial report said boat left Gizo around 9am Thursday morning and was believed to have been sunk two hours later around 11am.

Pricilla Pitakaka a journalist who is currently on attachment with the Radio Hapi Lagun in Gizo told the Solomon Star yesterday that search been launched since last week and continued yesterday.

It was reported that two of those seven people were rescued on Thursday evening by a boat that was also traveling down to Choiseul.

Yesterday the search continued with the help of the relatives, medical and the police.

Two of those still missing are elderly people while the other three are in their teenage age.

A close relative of two of elderly men said those on board were traveling to attend a meeting.

As of yesterday members of the family are hoping that those missing are found alive.

“Family members are still concern with the safety of those who are still missing,” he said.

While the cause of the incident is yet to be known, the relative said bad weather experienced last week in the province plus overloading may have contributed to the incident.

He said the boat apart from the luggage also carried two petrol drums which 400 litres in total during the trip.

When contacted yesterday a spokes-lady for Gizo Police confirmed only two survivors have been rescued picked while the remaining five are still missing.

Yesterday morning officers from Gizo police also teamed up with other boats to join the hunt for the missing passengers however are yet to locate any of those five that have gone missing, she said.

“We have a full team out on search including relatives of those people that have gone missing,” Gizo police spokes lady said.

The search and rescue office could not be reached yesterday for any comments.