OFFICERS of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) at the Atori Police Station in East Malaita, Malaita Province are conducting a search for the body of a young boy who had gone missing after the canoe he was travelling in sunk while travelling between the mainland and Kwai Island on Sunday.
The young boy, aged between 7 and 8 years old, was travelling with his mother and other women in a fibre canoe after attending a funeral service on the mainland when the canoe sunk on their way back to Kwai Island.
In a statement, on Tuesday, Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Malaita Chief Superintendent Stanley Riolo said the canoe sunk halfway through the journey and the occupants had to swim.
“The mother struggled to rescue herself and her son but could not able to do since both were slowly drowning.
“The mother managed to save herself whilst the child drowned and could not be found,” Mr Riolo said.
He said police officers at Atori were alerted and a search was mounted for the missing child until Sunday night when the search was called off due to bad weather.
He said the search continued on Monday morning and yesterday.
“So far there has been no sighting of the young boy’s body.”
“My sincere condolence to the family of the missing child,” Mr Riolo said yesterday.
He appealed to people living in villages along the coastal areas of East Fataleka, East Kwaio, and East Kwara’ae to look out for the body of the boy along the coastline.
He said if there are any unusual or suspicious sightings please contact Officer In-charge (OIC) at Atoifi Police Station Martin Ifanasafi on mobile phone 7885971 or OIC Atori Police Station Staff Sergeant Robert Kwairia on mobile phone: 7861970 or 8935115.