THE 14 Papua New Guinea nationals who drifted for six weeks at sea returned to Port Moresby last Saturday.
The PNG High Commission office in Honiara confirmed.
The Solomon Star understood High Commissioner Fred Yakasa had hosted a reception last Friday to farewell his country’s citizens.
Mr Yakasa earlier said his office met the airfares of the 14 people to Port Moresby only.
He said they will get their provincial government to meet the cost of travel from Port Moresby to Lihir in New Ireland province.
The PNG nationals had been accommodated in a temporary home in Honiara after they have been rescued by a fishing boat outside national waters.
They include four males and 10 females, the youngest being a girl of 4.
Unfortunately, their 15th member, a woman in her 40s died during the sea ordeal after taking too much salt water.
Her body was released into the ocean.
The ordeal started after their 40-horse power engine broke down between Namatanai and Lihir in New Ireland province.
By EDDIE OSIFELO