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NMSA warns of unsafe boating practises

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) has strongly warned small boat owners and operators to be more responsible and practise sea safety especially during this recent windy period.

NMSA General Manager/ Chief Executive Officer, Paul Unas issued this warning after a tragic boating incident over the long weekend in Port Moresby which saw three passengers missing with only one survivor.

It was reported that four passengers on board a banana boat had gone out to Fisherman Island, a 30 minutes boat ride out of the City had not returned to the Royal Papuan Yacht Club (RYPC) on Sunday.

The RYPC reported that there was no radio communications with the boat or the Club for notification of their departure.

It is alleged that the boat capsized on Saturday afternoon leaving only one survivor, a 32-year old national while the two expatriates from an Australian and Fijian nationalities respectively as well as a national are still missing at sea.

It was reported that Joint Rescue Coordinating Centre Australia (JRCC) is working closely with the Papua New Guinea Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (PNGMRCC) in searching the area of the missing persons.

It is alleged that the survivor advised that the boat has sunk at 6pm on Saturday 11th June, 2017.

Mr Unas said small boat owners, operators and passengers in the Maritime Provinces must exercise some responsibility and comply with sea safety measures including, not overloading, carrying extra fuel and not travelling in bad weather.

Mr Unas further reiterated that failure to comply with sea safety measures can result in severe penalties under the Small Craft Act.

He said:  “These apply to all operators and passengers. If anyone is caught breaching this Act, necessary penalties will be applied accordingly.”

Mr Unas encouraged everyone in the Maritime Provinces to embrace maritime safety and practise sea safety before anything else when going out to sea.

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