THE Marine Authority will hold its internal De-briefing 10am today in Honiara after it was postponed on Monday.
The De-briefing session is to carry out an internal inquest into circumstances surrounding handling of the search and rescue operations by its officials in relation to the tragic death of three men whose bodies were washed ashore at Hauhui, West Are Are, and Malaita Province on New Year’s Eve.
Director of Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) captain Tim Harris said the debriefing is necessary in light of complaints from relatives of the deceased trio on how the Search and Rescue Unit responded to their call for help.
The three deceased – a respected Anglican priest from Isabel, his son, and their friend from Malaita – were heading to Honiara from Isabel on Monday 28th December 2015 on an outboard motor boat when their engine broke down near Gela, Central Province.
The priest, Fr Bako, reportedly called his daughter in Honiara the same day using his mobile phone and informed her of the engine problem and their location while adrift.
He asked his daughter to contact the Search and Rescue centre for assistance.
The daughter claimed she had contacted the Search and Rescue centre on Monday evening 28th December but no search was conducted until the next day.
The bodies of the trio were found washed ashore at Hauhui village, West Are Are, Malaita Province on New Year’s Eve.
They were picked up later and brought to Honiara by Patrol Boat Auki which arrived in the capital about 5 am on New Year’s Day.
Captain Harris said they want to find out the true merit of the accusation against SIMSA’s handling of the search and rescue operation.