TWO fishermen from Patu village in Central Rannogah, Western Province who went missing last week have been reportedly found alive after being rescued near Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (PNG) over the weekend.
The two men were on a fishing trip to prepare for a wedding on Wednesday.
They were said to have travelled on a bray-boat powered by 15 horse-powered outboard motor.
Their destination was a fishing raft further off the weather coast of Ranoggah close to the Shortlands.
The weather last week was reportedly foggy with heavy rain, high swells and strong wind which resulted in the duo fail to return.
After they failed to return, a team from police, search and rescue authorities were alerted who made several attempts to search but were unsuccessful due to continuous bad weather.
A Solomon Airlines operated service to Shortland on Thursday was also asked to conduct an aerial search but also fail to locate the duo.
However, reports reaching this paper over the weekend from Patu village and relatives said, the two have been found alive Bougainville much to excitement of the family members and relatives.
One of the relatives and village official Jones Gago who is currently in Honiara described the news as an answered prayer and blessing.
“Praise God it’s a blessing and an answered prayer that they have been found alive because we have been praying for them over the past days. We never lose hope on them,” he said, soon after the news came through on Saturday night.
Since being rescued they have undergone medical treatment at one of the clinics in Bougainville.
Reports from Patu said,they were weak when they were rescued but are in stable condition.
“At the moment, they are unable to talk because they are weak and still under medical observation by nurses due to their bad condition.
“They have been without food and water for the past days. But thank God the people of Bougainville have found them floating and rescued them immediately and now they are in the safe hands of the Bougainville people,’’the report yesterday confirmed.
Mr Gago also acknowledged the people of Bougainville for coming to their rescue and save the two men.
“We acknowledged the people of Bougainville for coming to their rescue. Thank you so much,” he said.
A police officer from Gizo police yesterday they have tried our best to search for the two men last week.
“But we could not locate them and so we have scaled down our search due to bad weather and that its more than four days.”
Gizo Police was unable to confirm the report of the two men being found alive.
“At the moment we could not confirm whether they are alive or not unless a formal report reaches our office.”
Its understood arrangements are being made to get the two home once they recovered from their ordeal.
By DENVER NEWTER